The only terrorist to escape alive when the SAS stormed the Iranian Embassy in London 28 years ago will be freed from jail within days for a life on benefits.
Fowzi Badavi Nejad was told he had been granted parole on Tuesday - and assured he will not be deported back to his native Iran because of human rights laws.
Instead, in a decision last night attacked as 'utter madness', he will receive hundreds of pounds every week in free housing and benefits.
Trevor Lock, the policeman held hostage in the siege, told the Daily Mail he had written to the Government objecting to Nejad's release, but this had been ignored. 'He shouldn't be allowed to stay in this country,' he said. 'He will be living off the UK taxpayers.'
The move also risks causing a diplomatic row with Iran, which has demanded the 50-year-old's return so that he can face trial for the murder of two hostages during the siege. This would lead to an inevitable death sentence. The threat of capital punishment is why his lawyers have been able to argue that he must stay in Britain.
He and five other terrorists forced their way into the Iranian Embassy in Kensington in April 1980, taking 26 hostages. The gang were demanding independence for a part of Iran and the release of comrades.