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Mayor responds to Biden on terror trial costs

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg defended his claim it would cost $200 million per year to secure the city during a trial of Sept. 11 suspects in Manhattan, after Vice President Joe Biden questioned the figure.

The city has refused to release a detailed accounting of what the total cost includes, but Bloomberg said yesterday the city's estimate is "reasonable" and that no one in the Obama administration had questioned it until now.

He said city officials had discussed the figures with officials in the White House budget office, as well as the Justice Department.

In an interview on CBS' "Face the Nation" Sunday, Biden said, "The mayor came along and said the cost for providing security to hold this trial is X hundreds of millions of dollars, which I think is much more than would be needed."

Bloomberg said the estimates are "based on many years of experience and knowing what the costs are in a big city of deploying the greatest police department in the world."

The mayor initially supported the Obama administration's decision to try the Sept. 11 suspects in a federal courthouse in lower Manhattan.

But he recently changed his mind and has lobbied against it, citing the cost and disruption to life downtown. - AP

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