18 Nov 2008

No hearings likely until 2010 for raids accused

3:34 pm on 18 November 2008

Lawyers for those accused after last year's nationwide police raids say a trial will probably not happen until 2010 if the matter is transferred from the district court to the High Court in Auckland.

A short hearing has taken place at the High Court in Auckland, where the Crown has made an application to have the charges transferred from the district court.

It is also seeking to lay new charges against some of the accused.

All but one of the accused are opposed to a transfer. Their lawyers have been given specific dates by which to file submissions ahead of another court date in March.

The judge told them the delay was because of the large courtroom that would be needed.

A lawyer for one of the accused, Michael Bott, said that a potential trial date in 2010 would be an additional stress for the accused.