By KIERAN FINNANE
UPDATE, 7 December 2016, 10.46am:
Judge David Bamber formally declared murder accused Pande Veleski at risk of self harm in the Alice Springs Local Court this morning.
The police prosecutor advised the court that Mr Veleski was still undergoing treatment at the Alice Springs Hospital. This follows incidents of self harm in the cells on Monday, when he was due to come before the court.
The prosecutor asked for an adjournment until next week, when a picture of his condition would become clearer.
Lawyer Maker Mayek of De Silva Hebron in Darwin, after appearing by telephone on Monday, is no longer acting for Mr Veleski. The family has approached the NT Legal Aid Commission but the commission has not “taken carriage of the matter”, said the prosecutor. So Mr Veleski is currently unrepresented.
Judge Bamber had received advice from Corrections that Mr Veleski may have to be transferred to the Joan Ridley Unit in Royal Darwin Hospital. This unit is designed for people with acute mental conditions requiring a secure environment.
The matter will return to court for mention on 14 December.
Pande Veleski, the 35-year-old Victorian man accused of murdering a French tourist at a roadside stop north of Alice Springs last Wednesday, was being treated for “severe schizophrenia” in Melbourne before making his way to the NT.
So said a lawyer appearing by telephone in the Alice Springs Local Court this morning, on instructions from Mr Veleski’s family. Mr Veleski had been due to appear, facing charges of murder, two counts of assaulting and harming police, and one of escaping from custody.
The lawyer, Maker Mayek from De Silva Hebron in Darwin (pictured), appeared by telephone.
He said Mr Veleski was not in court today because he was “unwell” due to his serious mental health issues. He said he had tried to pass on information about Mr Veleski’s condition and his need for regular medication to the Darwin Police Station but they had been “of no assistance”.
Judge David Bamber said he understood Mr Veleski was receiving psychiatric care at the Alice Springs Hospital and that the family could liaise directly with the hospital.
The police prosecutor asked for Mr Veleski’s file to be marked “at risk”, due to incidents while in custody.
He said Mr Veleski had been taken to hospital today for “another medical condition”, not for a previously existing one. He is expected to require hospital care for two to three days.
Mr Mayek asked to be put in touch with the officer in charge of the investigation. He also sought leave to appear by telephone for the next mention, set down for Wednesday.
Judge Bamber granted leave, but said that Mr Mayek will need to determine if he is appearing for the accused or for his family.
The family are understood to be on their way to Alice Springs today.
French tourist stabbed to death: Man charged
Murder accused being treated for ‘severe schizophrenia’
By KIERAN FINNANE