Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

IRA Terrorist Is Facing Pounds 200,000 Legal Case Bill

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

IRA Terrorist Is Facing Pounds 200,000 Legal Case Bill

Article excerpt

A convicted terrorist will have to stump up almost pounds 200,000 to police he tried to sue for wrongful arrest.

IRA bomber Scott Monaghan failed to claim damages at the High Court in Newcastle against the Northumbria force for his arrest over the shooting of double agent Martin McGartland.

Monaghan has been ordered to pay back 95% of the police's bill for contesting the legal battle from 1999 to 2004 which is understood to be more than pounds 200,000. However, the total costs for the case ( including his legal team and court administration ( could range from pounds 700,000 to pounds 800,000.

The Chronicle can reveal the Northumbria force is facing a second claim for damages from Harry Fitzsimmons, the second suspect arrested in the McGartland attempted assassination probe. IRA man Fitzsimmons, is a former colleague in the same unit as Mr McGartland while he was working undercover for the Royal Ulster Constabulary.

Fitzimmons is making a case for wrongful arrest at the High Court in Belfast. A date has yet to be set for the hearing and the conclusion of yesterday's case may now have a bearing on whether Fitzsimmons' action goes ahead.

Police costs in the Monaghan civil action cover three years.

A legal source said: "The sensitivity of the material in the case meant specialist solicitors had to be used after they had been vetted by the security services.

"Costs for their work could be up to pounds 150,000. And top barristers had to be consulted to match those taken on by Monaghan's team in London. This could have added more than pounds 25,000."

It is not known how Monaghan's case was funded. He alleged there was no basis for his arrest following the shooting of Mr McGartland in 1999.

Mr Justice Bean yesterday rejected the claim but did accept Monaghan had proved police had taken items of property and awarded him pounds 100 in damages.

The judge also said Northumbria Police would have to pay its own costs from 2004 because it had failed to disclose a document to Monaghan's solicitors until a month before the case opened. …

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