The state must probably cover the additional costs of more than half a million in a criminal case that was set to be held in the Oslo District Court last week.
The case which should have started involved the trial of eight men accused of a serious robbery of two male prostitutes in 2014,but one of the defendants did not show up at the agreed time.
The police made an attempt to find him for two days, while the court was adjourned. On the third day, the judge had no choice but to postpone the case. Now it must be scheduled again.
‘It is, of course, very regrettable. Especially when there is such a serious case as this scheduled over several days’, said police attorney, Erik T. Hansen.
The defence attorney for one of the defendants, Marijana Lozic, also thinks it is unfortunate that the case is to be postponed. She pointed out that the other defendants are going to have to wait to go to trial.
‘The faster one gets cases processed, the better it is for all parties. Especially for those defendants who are as young as they are
in this case.
In addition to the human aspects, postponing a trial also leads to a build-up of costs. Annually, defence lawyers receive approximately 800 million for specific criminal charges. That is an increase of 30 % over the past five years.
‘In a criminal case, it is the state that pays almost all expenses. It comes under a government budget for special criminal expenses,and allocations to the court and appropriations for the prosecution’, said senior adviser, Iwar Arnstad, of Court Administration.
Although not all the fees demanded have been submitted in this case, one can, on the basis of conversations with defence lawyers and Court Administration, say that somewhere between 500,000 and 700,000 is to be paid.
The money goes to eight defendants, two police lawyers, judges and others involved in the case, who have not yet been assessed.
Despite the tremendous cost financially, both the Court Administration, and police attorney Erik T. Hansen, believe that the biggest cost is human.
‘This applies to both the accused, and others who are affected by the case. They want to get this finished. They also deserve to have the case closed when it has been scheduled, and on the date when they have been expecting a conclusion to the matter.
Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today