Evidence about Kumanjayi Walker’s possible involvement in damaging the Yuendumu medical centre in the days before he was shot dead will be allowed during the committal hearing of police officer Zachary Rolfe, a court has heard.
- The witness list for the committal hearing for Constable Zachary Rolfe has been finalised
- A medical witness is likely to give evidence about the potential to inflict harm with scissors
- The committal hearing is due to begin on September 1
Alice Springs Judge John Birch today finalised the list of witnesses to be called during a four-day hearing, which will determine whether there is enough evidence to put Constable Zachary Rolfe on trial in the Supreme Court for murder.
The prosecution and defence lawyers had previously disagreed over several witnesses.
Prosecutors objected to evidence about Mr Walker’s possible involvement in a “medical centre incident” which allegedly led to staff being evacuated hours before Mr Walker was shot.
Judge Birch said he would allow the defence to question one police officer about Mr Walker’s possible involvement sometime before the shooting, but the officer would not be questioned about her police training as she was not in the same intake group as the defendant.
“Accordingly, I’m not satisfied evidence from the officer would be probative to the facts in issue, in this case,” Judge Birch said.
He said he would not allow questions to two other officers about their involvement in an incident days before the shooting when the deceased allegedly wielded an axe against police.
Judge Birch said there was already sufficient information on the matter in the evidence brief.
“Their [the witnesses’] evidence also includes the body-worn video,” he said.
“The matters raised by [the defence counsel] Mr Edwardson are covered by the officers in their statutory declarations as well as other material contained in the brief of the evidence in my view.”
Judge Birch will also allow a medical expert to view the body-worn camera footage of the shooting prior to giving evidence, to allow her to possibly answer questions about scissors and “their potential to inflict harm”.
Defence counsel had previously argued for the need to cross-examine medical witnesses about the position of Mr Walker’s right arm at the time of the shooting, as he was allegedly holding a pair of scissors.
Judge Birch also granted leave for three other doctors to be cross-examined on the same basis.
The committal hearing is set to begin on September 1 and Constable Rolfe is expected to appear via video link from Canberra.