The murder trial of NT police officer Zachary Rolfe may not take place until next year, as the prosecution remain stuck in Covid lockdown in New South Wales for the forseeable future.
In a mention of Rolfe's matter in the Darwin Supreme Court this morning, Counsel continued to argue about when the highly-anticipated trial should be adjourned to, with it originally scheduled to start last week.
Crown Prosecutor Philip Strickland SC told the court that the defence's suggested date of August 31 was unsuitable because of prior professional commitments, and suggested the trial start in late November or late January 2022.
"The lockdown in this state I think is about to continue for a further four weeks, ending at the end of August," he said.
Mr Strickland said he and his team were denied a travel exemption by the NT Government to come to Darwin for the trial.
"We were lead to believe we were getting an exemption," he said.
"We applied four weeks before we were refused."
Defence lawyer for Rolfe, David Edwardson QC said such a lengthy delay to the trial would be unfair on his client.
"The reality of what's happening in NSW there is every likelihood this is going to go into next year," he said.
"If the DPP (Director of Public Prosecutions) has to get another prosecutor, so be it.
"To go off to the 31st of January is a very long time to wait."
Acting Justice Dean Mildren suggested the prosecutors travel to Darwin and quarantine in Howard Springs, for the trial to commence on August 17.
Mr Strickland told the court he would need two days to check if that arrangement would be possible.
The matter will return to court on Friday morning.
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