The case concerning the “One Don” faction of the St. Catherine based Klansman Gang, is on the way and the Defence Attorneys have been asking for more funding since the start of the trial.
The Minister of Justice Delroy Chuck while speaking to Parliament on Tuesday, clarified the amounts that have been decided as final to be paid over to the legal counsel involved in the case.
This particular trial was modelled off last year’s Uchence Wilson gang trial which cost the Government an amount of 55 million dollars, and as such an amount of 50 million dollars is being set aside for the “One Don” case.
The matter was spoken about while the Justice Minister was speaking on changes to be made to the Legal Aid Amendment 21, which included the proposed thought of Attorneys being paid new legal aid fees.
The breakdown of the new fees to be paid to the Attorneys are as follows; Senior Attorneys on murder cases will be paid $270,000, while Junior lawyers will be given an amount of $180,000 from the previous $90,000 they were offered.
The same amounts have been decided to be given to Attorneys handling non-capital murder and manslaughter.
For Firearm offences, Senior Legal Counsels will now be paid $180,000, while Junior Attorneys will now be given an amount of $130,000. For cases concerning fraud being dealt with at Parish courts, senior lawyers will be paid $90,000 while junior lawyers will be compensated at $60,000.
In cases such as the “One Don” trial that is considered as complex where an attorney represents 6 or more clients, senior Attorneys will be paid $300,000 for the first month, and $150,000 for the second month while Junior lawyers will be paid $200,000 for the first month and $100,000 for the second month.
It is a known fact as well that big gang-related cases can stretch for months, as was with the trial concerning Uchence Wilson which went on for 9 months, therefore as a maximum amount senior Attorneys could be paid 1.2 million dollars while Junior Attorneys could be looking at $800,000 in payment.
According to the Justice Minister, the amount even though deemed to be insufficient is the budget that was handed down by the State to pay the Attorneys. Minister Chuck also said there is a chance that the trial might just exhaust all of the Legal aid budget put in place by the Lower House.