Apsana Begum's trial cost over £24k more than she was accused of defrauding
Alastair Lockhart, local democracy reporter
- Credit: PA Images
More cash was spent prosecuting MP Apsana Begum than she was falsely accused of defrauding.
A Freedom of Information request has revealed Tower Hamlets Council spent £88,607 in the investigation and trial of the Poplar and Limehouse MP, who was accused of costing the taxpayer £63,928 through social housing fraud.
Ms Begum was cleared of all the three charges at Snaresbrook Crown Court on July 30 this year.
However, the total cost of the investigation and lawyer’s fees racked up by Tower Hamlets Council in pursuing the case was £88,607.
It said the cost of its internal investigation was £14,899.
Legal assistants working on the case charged a total of £10,732.50, while senior or principal lawyers – paid £150 an hour – cost £44,715.
This means the amount spent on counsel’s fees was £18,261.
In total, the costs were £24,679 more than the amount Ms Begum was accused of cheating the taxpayer out of.
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Tower Hamlets Council and Ms Begum have been contacted for comment.