By KIERAN FINNANE
The Local Court in Alice Springs has heard from the prosecutor in the case against Zachary Rolfe – the police officer pleading not guilty to the charge of murder of Kumanjayi Walker on November 9 last year – an application to prevent live-streaming of the proceedings to Yuendumu.
The NT Courts administration has made arrangement for the live-streaming to occur in the multi-purpose room that is part of the Yuendumu Police Station.
The prosecution’s concern, echoed by defence, is with the potential contamination of witness evidence.
Philip Strickland SC said he is instructed that police are not confident of their powers in being able to exclude witnesses from the room. Normally in court, this is the province of the judge.
Up to 56 civilian witnesses, members of the community, could be called at trial. Around 10 are bound to be so.
It is important in particular, submitted Mr Strickland, that they are not exposed to evidence from IRT witnesses – the Incident Response Team, police officers present in the community at the time.
Judge John Birch said it is in the interest of justice for the live-stream to go ahead. He will make a ruling next Tuesday, the first day of the committal proceedings, about whether to suspend it during the IRT evidence.