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Lockerbie appeal Wednesday, 13 March, 2002, 11:12 GMT
Lockerbie bill reaches £75m
Zeist court
Technology is in evidence all around the court
The final bill for the most expensive proceedings in Scottish legal history will reach £75m.

It is almost two years since the first witness took the stand in the Lockerbie trial.

The specially-created Scottish Court in the Netherlands heard 84 days of evidence from 230 witnesses, resulting in a total of 10,232 pages of court transcripts covering more than three million words.

Bill Taylor, QC, represented al-Megrahi at the appeal
Bill Taylor, QC, represented al-Megrahi at the appeal
This led to the conviction of Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi for his part in the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103, with the death of 270 people, in December 1988. His co-accused, Al Amin Khalifa Fhimah, was cleared.

A week after the verdict was delivered in January 2001, al-Megrahi declared his intention to appeal - starting a process which extended his stay at Camp Zeist by more than a year.

The running costs of the appeal were put at about £2m a month.

The cost of the trial itself was estimated at £60m, which combined to produce the total bill estimated at £75m by the Scottish Executive.

Its justice department will pick up the bill for 20% of the running costs, which include policing, prison officers and court officials.

Extra costs

More than 1,000 Scottish police from all branches of the service have been seconded to guard the site.

The remaining 80% of the running costs, along with the capital costs, will be borne by the UK reserve held by the Treasury.

However, the US Government has also made a substantial contribution towards the extra costs incurred through holding the trial in Holland rather than Scotland.

The Lockerbie trial and appeal were the first to be heard under Scots law on foreign soil.

They involved the creation of a special court and a prison complex at Camp Zeist in the Netherlands at a cost of £12m.

The court at Camp Zeist
Running costs include policing and security
The court featured bullet-proof glass, screens to protect the identity of witnesses and a mass of computer equipment.

Advanced equipment was used to translate the proceedings from English into Arabic and had the capability to translate into Swedish, Japanese, Kurdish or whatever other language was required.

A huge video screen was also a feature of the courtroom, as was the capacity to alter the voices of witnesses to protect their identity.

Television technology was used to transmit pictures to special viewing rooms in Dumfries, London, New York and Washington DC.

The original estimates had put the cost of the entire proceedings at £150m.

Lockerbie megapuff graphic

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