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Northern Territory police officer’s murder trial may be broadcast on YouTube

The trial of a Northern Territory police officer charged with the capturing homicide of a younger Indigenous man may very well be broadcast on YouTube so the sufferer’s house group of Yuendumu might watch proceedings.

Zachary Rolfe, 29, is accused of capturing Kumanjayi Walker thrice in Yuendumu in November 2019 as officers tried to arrest the 19-year-old.

The constable’s trial is anticipated to run for 4 weeks in July in Darwin. That’s about 1,100km from Yuendumu, which has a inhabitants of about 800 folks.

The NT supreme courtroom is contemplating if it’s going to allow the trial to be broadcast to the small city and the Alice Springs courthouse.

Kumanjayi Walker.
Kumanjayi Walker

“What’s contemplated in that respect is that the proceedings could be broadcast over YouTube,” the chief justice, Michael Grant, stated on Tuesday. “There could be a facility arrange within the college [at Yuendumu].”

Grant stated a facilitator would shut down the published at any time when the courtroom was closed or arguments had been being made with out the jury. Witnesses would nonetheless give proof from the native police station by way of video hyperlink or from Alice Springs courthouse, the choose stated.

Rolfe’s defence lawyer, David Edwardson QC, raised issues about using YouTube, saying it may very well be an issue if witnesses watched the trial earlier than they gave proof.

Grant stated he would be capable to make an order to stop this and a police officer may very well be positioned in Yuendumu college to implement it.

The crown prosecutor, Sophie Callan SC, requested if entry to the published may very well be restricted to stop folks outdoors the college from watching it.

“Whereas the facilitator at Yuendumu could also be able to regulate what happens and what will be seen at that finish … it’s not clear to me that will forestall different people from accessing the YouTube video for their very own functions,” she stated.

Grant stated he would ask the director of courts and tribunals concerning the technical particulars and report again to the attorneys on the subsequent pre-trial listening to on 31 March. He additionally reminded the events that any member of the general public was entitled to come back into courtroom and watch the proceedings.

“What’s the problem with them watching it by public entry broadcast?” he requested.

Rolfe was ordered to face trial for homicide after a preliminary listening to in Alice Springs. His trial shifted to Darwin following a request from his defence staff in December 2020.

He was suspended from the police drive with pay after he was charged with homicide following Walker’s demise.

He was a part of a four-member elite fast response staff that drove 290km from Alice Springs into the Tanami Desert to arrest Walker.

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