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9/11 trial security to cost more than $200 million annually: NYC mayor

[JURIST] New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg [official website] has requested federal assistance to pay more than $200 million annually for security for the upcoming trial of five 9/11 [JURIST news archive] suspects, according to a letter [text, PDF] made public Wednesday. Bloomberg sent the letter to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Tuesday, estimating that security would cost about $216 million for the first year and $206 million per year in subsequent years, with most of the funds covering the cost of personnel. Bloomberg wrote:

The City of New York's financial resources are in short supply, and we have been forced to reduce our Police Department's headcount. Thus, securing the trial will require us to pull existing personnel from crime prevention efforts around the City and require significant overtime expenses. As 9/11 was an attack on the entire nation, we need the federal government to shoulder the significant costs we will incur and ease this burden.

The letter was also sent to US Attorney General Eric Holder, Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY), and others. A spokesperson for the OMB said that the federal government will share responsibility [NYT report] for funding security for the trial. No trial date has been set.

Holder announced [JURIST report] in November that the government would pursue federal charges against the five suspected 9/11 conspirators in a Manhattan district. Holder said that he recommended that the men be tried in civilian court after a case-by-case review conducted by the Department of Justice and the Department of Defense [official websites], according to a new protocol announced in July. Reactions to the decision have fallen mostly along partisan lines, with many Republicans opposing the plan [JURIST report], and many Democrats supporting it.

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