The Pinochet Ruling: Case may set record for costs

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The Independent Online
THE PINOCHET affair may become the most expensive proceedings in British legal history. So far the bill has exceeded pounds 8m; now new extradition proceedings and appeals will raise that figure still further.

Add the cost of a police operation since the general was arrested, pounds 50,000 a week, and the total could top the pounds 30m it cost for the Maxwell case.

The "meter" started ticking before General Pinochet was arrested, when lawyers for the Foreign Office and Crown Prosecution Service considered the Spanish extradition request. By the time the first High Court hearing had taken place, government counsel fees alone were pounds 123,625. The general's nine- strong legal team cost an estimated pounds 12,000 each a day and the Government's team will easily match that.

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