The ringleader of a plot to steal diamonds from London’s Millennium Dome will get legal aid to sue the English police.
William Cockram and three other men tried to snatch £200m worth of diamonds from the site in Greenwich, south east London in November 2000.
Cockram has now issued a writ against the Metropolitan Police, saying he was assaulted by officers during the raid.
Cockram, from Catford, south-east London, was jailed for 18 years in 2002 for the attempted robbery.
In a statement, the Legal Services Commission said: “We cannot differentiate between applicants for legal aid on the grounds that a decision to grant funding may be unpopular in a particular case.”
The Flying Squad mounted its biggest ever operation in history when foiling the plot.
More than 100 armed officers lay in wait as the gang ram-raided their way into the Thames-side tourist attraction on a JCB earthmover.
The raiders, armed with sledgehammers, a nail gun, ammonia and smoke grenades, were caught by armed police inches away from seizing jewels from the De Beers diamond exhibition vault.