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Counting the cost: Ian Bailey ordered to pay up to €5 million for legal action

A decision on costs in his failed action against the State will be made today.

Image: Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

IAN BAILEY FACES a legal bill of between €2 million and €5 million after having full costs awarded against him in court today.

He attempted to win costs for his failed case against gardaí and the State but that bid failed today.

Justice John Hedigan ruled that Bailey should pay full costs for the 64-day hearing, including half of the travel expenses incurred by one juror.

A stay has been put on the order for costs in the event of an appeal.

During today’s hearing today, Bailey was accused by the State of ‘rolling the dice’ and not wanting to pay for his bet.

However, his legal team argued that over half of the evidence heard in court was “unnecessary”.

The judge dismissed this argument today, saying that the allegations against the gardaí and the State were so grave that they required a full airing in open court and before a jury.

On the 60th day of the 64-day trial, the State applied to have the action wholly or partly struck out on the basis that it exceeded the statute of limitations.

Two days later, the judge agreed to strike out some of Bailey’s claims, including that of wrongful arrest.

Claims from Bailey about the intention of gardaí to implicate him in the murder of Sophie Toscan Du Plantier proceeded with the jury finding against him and in favour of the State.

In the costs hearing in front of Justice Hedigan this morning, Bailey’s legal team argued that, in the normal course of events, costs follow the decision but that a judge always has discretion.

“Ultimately it is how you feel,” Thomas Creed SC told the judge.

Creed argued that the application to strike out the case could have been made sooner, even before the trial, and that time was wasted as a result.

“In total there were 23.5 days that were relevant for the evidence that went before the jury,” Creed said.

There were 58 days of total evidence…therefore there was 33.5 days of evidence that was unnecessary to the decision that went before the jury.

Luan Ó Braonáin SC for the State disagreed with this calculation and presented an argument to the court claiming that the maximum time that could have been saved was just 3.5 days.

Judge Hedigan told the the court that, “it’s very difficult to disentangle what was related to what”.

Ó Braonáin went on to argue that, in any event, some of the allegations from witnesses for Bailey were of a serious nature and cross-examination was in the public interest.

He added that there was never any suggestion of improper conduct on behalf of the State in the late application.

Ó Braonáin accepted that judges do have discretion in terms of awarding costs but argued that such discretion is not designed to give “insurance” to legal teams about how they try a case.

“The discretion on costs is not there to provide an insurance or indemnity on decisions they make during the course of litigation,” he said.

Bailey, he argued, “rolled the dice” by making the allegations and is now seeking to say, “I don’t really want to pay for having made the bet.”

First published 12.53pm

Read: Ian Bailey could have millions in costs awarded against him >

Read: Ian Bailey “very disappointed” after losing his case against the State >

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Rónán Duffy

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