The cost of the preparation and trial for the Kevin McDaid murder case has been estimated at more than £1.8 million, we can reveal.
Justice Minister, David Ford, disclosed the figure following an Assembly question from MLA Gregory Campbell.
The DUP man asked Mr Ford to detail the total costs involved in the case following the death of the Catholic father of four in May 2009.
Mr Ford revealed the estimated costs came to £1,805,326, with the breakdown as follows:
* Legal Aid: £1,648,320.
* Prosecution: £124,837
* Court (Judiciary and staff): £26,118
* Facilities (eg, courtroom, accommodation): £6,051.
However the Minister stressed that an accurate reflection of costs was not possible.
He added: “In the absence of detailed records of time spent on individual cases it is not possible to produce precise or even average costs for a particular case.
“Some costs are identifiable however, for example the fees paid to prosecuting counsel and expenses paid to witnesses and expert witnesses.
“It is not possible to quantify the associated PSNI costs in respect of investigation, prosecution and trial as a breakdown of expenditure is not recorded in a readily accessible manner.”
Mr Campbell said: “Significantly, in addition to the £1.8 million, there are no costs disclosed in terms of police resources in preparation for the trials. I have no doubt, given the thousands of hours put in by numerous police 0fficers, that in addition to the amounts disclosed that the true cost is well in excess of £2million.” Nine men were jailed in connection with Mr McDaid’s death.