Repeated failed attempts to deport radical cleric Abu Qatada have cost nearly £1million in legal fees, the Government confirmed.
Immigration Minister Damian Green admitted the bill since 2002 has reached £825,000 and is set to continue to grow.
Home Secretary Theresa May has come in for intense criticism over her handling of the case after confusion over an appeal deadline means Qatada could be released on bail within weeks.
Mr Green said the tally related to legal fees incurred by the Government in trying to return the cleric to Jordan.
No figures were given for how much Qatada, described by a judge as Osama bin Laden's right-hand man, has received in legal aid over that period.
The Legal Services Commission (LSC), which runs the legal aid scheme in England and Wales, confirmed last week the 51-year-old has been receiving public money to fund his appeal
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