‘Costs could be massive’

MLA Gregory Campbell
MLA Gregory Campbell
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The initial total cost of the Kevin McDaid trial has been revealed at more than £173,000.

The actual figure - £173,837 - was given to MLA Gregory Campbell after he asked the Minister of Justice, David Ford, in an Assembly question to outline the costs of the preparation and trial from May 2009 to date.

Mr Campbell has now tabled a second question asking for details of the total cost of the trial process since it began in May 2009.

In an exclusive interview with The Times, Mr Campbell said: “A range of people including many in the wider Causeway Coast area believed that the chances of successful prosecutions on the more serious charges would be negligible.

“A number of suspects were questioned, and the costs of the preparation and trial over the last five years was significant.

“The outstanding costs still to be revealed may well prove to be considerably more.

“As a result of the aforementioned I have tabled a follow-up question which is awaiting an answer.”

Initially the Justice Minister stated that the estimated costs to date of the case as of May 22 this year included £115,606 for Legal Aid, £27,704 for the prosecution, £24,921 for court (judiciary and staff) and £5,606 for facilities (eg, courtroom accommodation).

Legal Aid costs to date include fees and disbursements paid to legal representatives for proceedings in the Magistrates’ Court. However, the Justice Minister said that a number of Magistrates’ Court costs have yet to be received or assessed. No claims have been submitted in respect of Crown Court proceedings. The total Public Prosecution Service cost is not yet available either however the total figure includes an estimate of costs for counsel and witnesses.