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£3m cost may lead to legal aid review

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THE legal aid system could be radically overhauled following the news that Jersey has spent £3 million on securing the conviction of drugs baron Curtis Warren and his five associates.

The full costs of Jersey's highest profile drugs case were revealed in the States yesterday. But Treasury Minister Philip Ozouf warned Members that the bill was likely to increase.

The six drug-smuggling plotters were recently found guilty of conspiring to import 180 kilos of cannabis into the Island and will be sentenced in December.

Six questions were tabled about the costs of the case by Deputy Phil Rondel and Senator Ben Shenton, who also pressed the Treasury Minister during question time about the legal aid system.

Senator Ozouf said: 'I believe that the reform of the legal aid system is something which is going to need to be done and I had discussions with Home Affairs yesterday on his views of the legal aid system.

'Reforms may be required but I am concerned that the reforms that are proposed by some people will have significant costs to the taxpayer.'

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