NT police officer charged with murdering Indigenous teenager granted suppression order | Northern Territory politics


A Northern Territory police officer charged with murdering an Indigenous teenager has persuaded a choose to maintain his private particulars non-public to guard him and his household.

Constable Zach Rolfe was charged after Kumanjayi Walker, 19, was fatally shot final November as two officers tried to arrest him in his house in Yuendumu, 300km north-west of Alice Springs.

Rolfe is on bail and appeared in Alice Springs native courtroom by way of cellphone on Wednesday. He’s but to enter a plea however has beforehand indicated he intends to plead not responsible, which is able to lead to a supreme courtroom jury trial to be held in Alice Springs.

Rolfe’s lawyer, David Edwardson QC, utilized for a suppression order on Wednesday, proscribing the publication of Rolfe’s residential tackle after he not too long ago moved houses.

The native courtroom choose, John Birch, granted the non-publication order after studying a sworn affidavit containing delicate materials in assist of the applying.

He wouldn’t launch the small print nevertheless it was implied that each Rolfe and members of his household had been approached and contacted at their house as a result of individuals knew the place they lived.

Rolfe, a embellished 29-year-old police officer and military veteran, was based mostly in Alice Springs however moved after he was charged over Walker’s loss of life.

There have been issues for his security within the NT on the time, with Rolfe supported by many fellow officers, however Walker’s loss of life has been a flashpoint for anger over police remedy of Aboriginal individuals.

Quite a few rallies have been held round Australia citing his loss of life, together with latest Black Lives Issues marches.

Birch advised the courtroom he was “happy that it’s within the pursuits of justice that I make an order” prohibiting the publication of Rolfe’s residential tackle.

“I be aware the issues contained within the affidavit in assist of the applying and the conduct that’s alleged to have taken place in direction of the defendant, in addition to his household,” he stated.

Rolfe’s attorneys have beforehand tried however didn’t get his trial moved to Darwin, citing infected tensions and division inside the neighborhood however Yuendumu residents that need to attend can solely achieve this in Alice Springs.

Birch has stated he was involved about prosecution delays in gathering proof, together with from a biomechanics professional to evaluate the confrontation and an professional concerning police bodycam footage.

A part of Rolfe’s defence is that Walker stabbed him and attacked one other police officer, which the household disputes.

The case is due again in courtroom on 14 August.