The family home of a convicted British Taliban fighter cannot be seized to pay for the cost of his trial, a judge ruled today.
Authorities had wanted to confiscate the former home of Munir Farooqi, who was given four life sentences in September 2011 for running a "recruitment centre" for home-grown extremists to go to Afghanistan to kill British troops.
But in a landmark ruling at the High Court in Manchester, senior law lord Sir Richard Henriques QC denied the order because it would make Farooqi's "wholly innocent" family homeless.
It is believed to be the first ever bid to seize the home of a convicted terrorist using new laws under Section 23A of the Terrorism Act 2000.
Justice Henriques ruled that the Legal Aid Agency must instead claim the money - £400,000 in legal aid costs and £100,000 in prosecution costs - as a civil debt.
Farooqi turned the four-bedroom property on Victoria Terrace, Longsight, Manchester, into a "production centre" for propaganda, with a collection of 50,000 extremist books, DVDs and CDs.