Lockerbie

Oral Answers to Questions — Scotland – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 27th April 1999.

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Photo of Mr Tam Dalyell Mr Tam Dalyell Labour, Linlithgow 12:00 am, 27th April 1999

What representations the Crown Office has received from the Dutch legal authorities over the handling of circumstances surrounding the trial of the Lockerbie suspects. [80993]

Photo of Henry McLeish Henry McLeish Minister for Home Affairs and Devolution, Scottish Office

Although no such representations have been received from the Dutch legal authorities, my noble Friend the Lord Advocate and I have been very pleased with the constructive co-operation of the Dutch legal authorities in ensuring the orderly and secure handover of the two Libyan accused to the Scottish authorities in the Netherlands.

Photo of Mr Tam Dalyell Mr Tam Dalyell Labour, Linlithgow

Has the Lord Advocate followed accepted good prosecution practice by making provisional lists of Crown witnesses and productions available to the defence in advance of service of the indictment? If he has not already done so, does he intend to do so in the near future? If he does not so intend, what are his reasons?

Photo of Henry McLeish Henry McLeish Minister for Home Affairs and Devolution, Scottish Office

The Crown Office has already supplied to the defence a provisional list of witnesses, detailing a substantial number of the witnesses who may be cited to give evidence at the trial. In addition to that, a large number of copy documentary productions that may be adduced in evidence at the trial have also been offered to the defence. Further provisional lists of witnesses and copy productions will be made available to the defence in due course in the discharge of the prosecution's duty to provide such material. This matter is now sub judice.

Photo of Menzies Campbell Menzies Campbell Shadow Spokesperson (Defence)

Will the Minister give the House an estimate of what he understands to be the likely cost of the trial itself and the charge to the legal aid fund from public funds? The cost of the trial and the likely level of legal aid support will be substantially greater than normal. Are those sums to be met out of the usual Scottish Office vote or has a special arrangement been made with the Treasury?

Photo of Henry McLeish Henry McLeish Minister for Home Affairs and Devolution, Scottish Office

I cannot give the right hon. and learned Gentleman specific details of the amount of funds involved, but I wish to do so and will pass them on to him. The sourcing of the funds will be from within the legal aid budget. We obviously want to consider the extent of the legal aid involved in such a case.