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Legal Aid Bill Outrageous

10 April 2002

Reports of a $1.14 million legal aid bill to defend seven members of a family of burglars will stun taxpayers, says National's Justice spokesman, Wayne Mapp.

"Why is it that these offenders were given money to hire several lawyers and drag out a trial in which the Judge said the evidence against them, on the vast majority of charges, was overwhelming?

"The Justice Minister's argument that these recidivist offenders will now be kept out of circulation for a long time doesn't wash.

"This family of burglars got a gold-plated legal aid service when most New Zealanders have to pay for their own lawyers and certainly wouldn't get this luxurious level of legal representation.

"No wonder people lose confidence in our criminal justice system when they see such an undeserving family receiving so much hard-earned taxpayers' money," says Dr Mapp.

Ends

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