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Orkney Four legal bill escalates to £200,000

Alistair Carmichael arriving at the Court of Session last month.

THE FOUR constituents who are challenging Alistair Carmichael’s election as Northern Isles MP say their legal bill has now spiralled to more than £200,000.

A crowdfunding page helped the quartet, collectively known as the ‘Orkney Four’, meet their earlier targets.

But the latest target has been set at £208,000 after the group’s Fiona McInnes said an additional £75,000 needed to be raised. So far a total of £161,363 has been pledged by more than 8,000 backers.

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“As the petitioners are still in an ongoing legal situation there is unfortunately still little detail we can provide at this time,” McInnes wrote. “We are relying on trust.”

A crowdfunder to support Carmichael’s own legal costs has raised £8,340 to date.

The case centres on Carmichael having lied by denying his involvement in the leaking of a controversial memo about First Minister Nicola Sturgeon during the election campaign.

Legal arguments were heard over three days at the Court of Session in Edinburgh last month. Lord Matthews and Lady Paton then retired to consider their verdict, which is expected at some point in the next few weeks.

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