PROTEST action by lawyers over legal aid changes is set to spread throughout the country this week.

Solicitors are poised to take action for the third time in a bid to keep pressure on Justice Minister Kenny MacAskill, who will meet with them on Wednesday.

It follows action last week at Edinburgh, Glasgow and Paisley Sheriff courts, where lawyers refused to represent people appearing from custody, after initial protests in Edinburgh.

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The solicitors are angry at plans to force accused people with a weekly disposable income of £68 or more to pay a contribution towards their legal aid.

Mark Harrower, of the Edinburgh Bar Association, said: "The action will be spreading."