Taxpayers spent more than $10 million on legal aid for nine accused terrorists, a Senate inquiry has heard.
…and that doesn’t include the money we had to spend for their multiple wives and brood…… nowÂ add that to the Â 8.2 million the Australian govt blew on the Haneef investigation and see where we’re going….
$10m spent helping accused terrorists/BigPond News/thanks to Dhumme
A supporter of five men found guilty of conspiring to commit a terror attack speaks to reporters outside the court in Sydney (she then died of shame/not!)
Five of the nine were convicted in a Sydney trial.
Up until September 2009, the total cost of the defence was $10.117 million.
In comparison, Tasmania’s entire legal aid budget, not including spending on community legal centres, was $11.4 million during the 2008/09 financial year.
The total federal legal aid budget last financial year sat at $527 million.
Tasmanian Liberal senator Guy Barnett revealed the information when questioning officials from the Human Rights Commission during an estimates hearing of the Senate’s legal and constitutional affairs committee on Monday.
‘Legal Aid New South Wales has advised the department that as at 30 September 2009 it has incurred costs of $10.117 million in the provision of legal assistance to the co-accused in this matter,’ the answer said.
Later, Senator Barnett voiced concerns about ‘the thousands’ of Australians not able to access legal aid.
‘I think most Australians would be shocked to realise that over $10 million in taxpayers’ funds has been spent defending the rights of nine terrorists,’ Senator Barnett told AAP.
The men were arrested at the height of tensions over warnings of a domestic terrorist attack, which had provoked emergency sittings of the parliament to pass tougher counter-terrorism laws.
At the time, then prime minister John Howard had warned of an imminent attack with fears centred on Melbourne.
Police initially arrested 21 people in a series of early morning raids in early November 2005.
The money for the legal defence came from a budget section inside the Attorney-General’s Department known as the Expensive Commonwealth Criminal Cases Fund.
The dedicated fund was established for commonwealth criminal law cases to ensure that the cost of the trials did not impact on the level of funding available for other matters including family law.