Protestors, who have already been refused Legal Aid for trials starting next week, look to be in line for a further setback. An appeal against the decision to refuse Legal Aid for one of the campaigners has been turned down. And it is feared that the remaining 100 cases out for appeal could end in the same situation.
If that is the case, the campaigners will face massive legal costs. Highland Councillor Gavin Scott-Moncrief, a founder member of SKAT, said "It would be a very high cost if everybody had to defend themselves." Andy Anderson is the only person so far to be notified that his appeal against the refusal of Legal Aid has been unsuccessful. Mr Scott-Moncrief said he expected many more appeals to be turned down.
He said a plan of action was being prepared but declined to add any details. He claimed that the Legal Aid Board had been pressurised by the Scottish Office. But the Board claim that it was not in the interests of justice to grant the appeal.
Mr. Scott-Moncrief said that some of those who had been turned down included pensioners and disabled people. "These are the people that, in normal terms, you would expect to get Legal Aid".
Copyright © Ray Shields, 1996.
Most recent revision, 06 April 1996.