Legal costs could run to $40m

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 02 August, 1998, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 02 August, 1998, 12:00am

LEGAL costs for the marathon 131-day trial could run to $40 million or more, experts say.

Speculation has run rife since the start of the trial, with cost estimates ranging from $250,000 a day to a grand total of $90 million.

An expert in legal costs told the Sunday Morning Post the bill was likely to run to $40 million.

This would cover fees incurred by employing top counsel, and other court costs.

Chim was represented by two senior counsel - John Griffiths and Cheng Huan - while his co-accused, Nelson Chan Kai-fung, was represented by barrister Kevin Egan.

By way of comparison, bringing former Carrian boss George Tan Soon-gin to justice was one of Hong Kong's costliest prosecutions, at an estimated $120 million.

Chim's trial was interrupted by occasional illness among the jury, and other cases involving counsel.

A total of 51 witnesses testified, including Chim. He had only one other defence witness.

Throughout the trial, the courtroom was stacked with more than 100 large bound files.

Seats had to be removed to make way for the mountain of paperwork involved in the case.