Detailed figures have emerged about the amount of taxpayers' money
the Crown Prosecution Service wasted on the Kieren Fallon trial which ended in
humiliating collapse last month.
The attorney general,
Baroness Scotland of Asthal, responding to questions in the House of Lords on
Monday, said that in the three failed race-fixing trials, of which Fallon's was
the highest profile, almost £1m was spent on the prosecution. The figures
were released ahead of the completion of a CPS internal review into the cases,
which is due to be completed at the end of next month.
breakdown showed that the three prosecution counsel cost £701,480.37,
witness expenses reached £14,527.04 and "ancillary costs" came to
£234,815.91, making a grand total of £950,823.32. That sum will be
compounded by defence costs - coming out of central funds - and court time.
Once that and the City of London police outlay is thrown in - its covert and
forensic costs, subsistence and overtime reached £450,000 in addition to
officers' salaries over the course of the three-year investigation - it is
thought the cost to the public purse could reach £5m.
So expensive did the police find the inquiry that
late in the investigation the assistant commissioner made a formal appeal to
the British Horseracing Authority for funding, a request that the new chief
executive, Nic Coward, rejected out of hand. With integrity risks now a real
and expensive issue for sport and the taxpayer it is small wonder that in a
meeting today with the sports minister, Gerry Sutcliffe, Coward and senior
representatives from football and tennis will call for the authority to charge
bookmakers and betting exchanges to finance anti-corruption programmes.
Bets are on for 2012 In the meantime the government received
what will undoubtedly be a tax-revenues boost from sports betting after London
2012 organisers succeeded in forcing a relaxation of the International Olympic
Committee rules on gambling. The host-city contract signed by London in July
2005 stipulated that "the organising committee shall take all possible steps to
prevent betting on the Olympic Games". London lobbied for that edict to be
eased after winning the right to host the Olympics, with sources saying: "We
reminded the IOC of the UK status quo." The IOC recognised that the regulated
betting industry, with its tax revenues, would be preferable to forcing it
underground. During his speech to a World Sports Law Report conference on
Monday the IOC's director of legal affairs, Howard Stupp, declared that it had
accordingly softened the demands on host cities. The contract for the 2014
winter games' host city, Sochi, now calls for the host Olympic committee not to
be involved in betting and demands collaboration with the government to protect
the integrity of the sport.