Drug accused loses secrecy bid

By Mike Dinsdale

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A former Government employee in Northland accused of selling methamphetamine and cannabis to a woman has lost his bid for continued name suppression, but the man still can't be identified as he may appeal to the High Court.

The man appeared in Whangarei District Court yesterday to argue for continued suppression of his name, occupation and any details that may identify him, and to also oppose continued name suppression of the woman who has accused him.

The man is facing a charge of supplying the Class A drug methamphetamine and another of selling cannabis to a person over the age of 18.

Supplying methamphetamine - or P as it is commonly known - carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment and police allege both offences happened between June 1, 2011, and June 30, 2012.

It is alleged the offences occurred while the man was still employed in a senior position by the Government department.

Yesterday the man's lawyer, Peter Magee, argued against his client's name being publicised and for the woman's identity to be revealed.

The police wanted the man's interim name suppression to end, but the woman's to continue.

Judge Simon Maude ruled that there were insufficient grounds to continue with name suppression for the man or the woman and he ended the interim suppression orders.

However, Mr Magee and the police both indicated they may appeal the decision to the High Court.

Judge Maude continued interim name suppression, including name, address, occupation and any other details that may identify the man or woman, until 5pm on May 22.

If an appeal has not been lodged with the High Court by that time the suppression orders will lapse.

The specific charges the man faces will be back before the court on July 12.

It is possible the man will enter a plea to the charges at that hearing.

The man has been remanded on bail.

He was earlier ordered to surrender his passport and not to apply for another passport or travel document.

He was also ordered not to contact a list of people and associates named by the prosecution.

- Northern Advocate

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