The SFO has been ordered to pay a six million pound legal bill following the collapse last year of its coal mining fraud case against six people; one of whom was a lawyer.
The case was dismissed by a judge for technical reasons after prosecutors changed the way they presented their case during the trial. It had alleged that six men defrauded local authorities in relation to the transfer of leases on four Welsh opencast mines to companies based in the British Virgin Isles.
Senior SFO staff are considering appealing the ruling on costs. Only last year, the SFO reached multi-million pound settlements with the Tchenguiz brothers over a mishandled investigation into them.