Stormontgate abandoned because of cost?

The PPS has stated that the dropping of the spy case charges just before Christmas was not political, but was in the public interest. The BBC reports through legal sources that cost implications may have been the primary reason.

  • I dont believe anyone will give that explanation serious consideration. Drip feeding to the press is only adding to the confusion. Maybe that was the real intention, to confuse.

  • Pete Baker

    I don’t think that is the import of the BBC report, Mick. Sure they asked about the costs, and when they didn’t get an answer asked someone else what they thought those costs would be.. but there’s no suggestion that it was a consideration.. and IMO it’s not that relevant a question in finding out why the prosecution was dropped.

    On a more important note, I’d like to see what questions the BBC did ask.. we’re not told in that report. All we’re told are some of the responses from the PPS and a vague reference to costs.. the least important aspect of the decision not to prosecute.

    There are, let’s not forget, plenty of questions remaining.. and although the PPS say political considerations were not involved.. the Attorney General is reported to have indicated that Cabinet Ministers were consulted in advance.. despite Tony Blair’s denials.

    Was Hain asked, for example? Did the BBC ask the PPS about the Attorney General’s involvement?

    The narratives being offered are still conflicting

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    The time delay in this case coming to trial was quite extraordinary. Even during the height of the conveyor belt system when there were hundreds of cases to be processed per year a delay of three years was unheard of. Given the resources available to the legal esablishment six months would have been enough for this case.

    It was dragged out for three full years and left in its wake the wreckage of a political process. Who decided that should be allowed to happen would be a more pertinent question.

  • The Devil

    It may have been the cost, i mean we really don’t know how much donaldson was charging them, was it daily or weekly or per appearance.

    And god forbid if they had to stump up for one of the superstars to make an appearance

  • missfitz

    A red herring if ever I seen one

  • BelfastGonzo

    Exactly, the real costs were human, political, and long-term economic. The cost of the trial by comparison would have been paltry.

    No-one in their right mind would say legal costs were really any consideration.

  • heck

    If you believe it was dropped for reasons of cost then I have some iraqi weapons of mass destruction to show you.

  • Crataegus

    Utter piffle

  • missfitz

    No-one picked up Pats point, which in my opinion is the reall issue. Who let this drag on for 3 years, who decided on this operation, what were the real motives behind this? Why do we, the people of Norther Ireland have to contend with the manipulation of democracy? Who can pick up the pieces?

    In the 15 years I have lived here, this is one of the most frightening things I have seen: utter disregard for constitutional politics. All the bombs and riots and disenfranchisement pale in comparison to this. Is there any way forward from here?

  • Henry94

    Vincent Browne in today’s Irish Times cuts to the heart of the mattter with his usual clarity. It’s subs only but worth the price of the paper.

  • Pete Baker

    Unfortunately, Henry, Vincent has his bare facts wrong.