TWO newspapers found to be in contempt of court after printing an article that collapsed a criminal trial, yesterday disputed the level of costs for which they should be held liable.
The 'Irish Times' and the 'Irish Examiner' have been ordered to pay the costs of the abandoned trial, which have been itemised and assessed at €540,000.
However, senior counsel for the newspapers, Eoin McCullough, submitted that the costs were excessive on several grounds, including the size of the fees claimed for defence solicitors, senior and junior counsel, and registrar's costs.
However, representatives for the defence solicitors told the court that the case was a complex one involving 100 witnesses, thousands of pages of evidence and transcripts from the previous trial and High Court hearings related to the case.
Judge Donagh McDonagh said he would take some time to consider the issue and adjourned the matter until next week, when he will inform the parties how long his judgment will take.