§ Mr. Churchill
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what is his best estimate of the cost to public funds of prosecuting the three alleged war criminals referred to in paragraph 10.5 of the report of the war crimes inquiry, including the cost of obtaining witnesses and evidence from the Soviet Union and eastern Europe and assuming the provision of legal aid to the defendants;
(2) what is his best estimate of the overall cost to public funds over the coming 10 years of implementing the recommendations contained in the report of the war crimes inquiry (Cm. 744) in respect of the 127 alleged war criminals believed to be in resident in the United Kingdom and recommended for prosecution or further investigation.
§ Mr. John Patten
[holding answer 18 December 1989]: It is not possible to give an indication about the costs which might arise in connection with any investigations and prosecutions of war criminals which might take place if the necessary legislative provision were to be made. However, the experience of other countries which have instigated investigations suggests that the costs involved could be substantial. The costs of conducting any trials of alleged war criminals which might take place would depend upon the number of such trials and the complexity of each case.