Motorway shooting inquest to resume

The inquest into the motorway shooting of Auckland courier Halatau Naitoko will resume today with the first of two police marksmen giving evidence in a restricted hearing, designed to protect the officers' identities.

Mr Naitoko, 17, died in January last year when he was caught by a police bullet as officers chased Stephen Hohepa McDonald, who was trying to hijack a truck.

The inquest was adjourned in November when lawyers for two armed offender squad policemen attempted to prevent them giving evidence from the dock.

Lawyers have since agreed the officers would give evidence with only court staff, two policemen and three representatives of Mr Naitoko's family present.

Media are barred but will be given written transcripts of the hearing, with anything which might identify the officers removed.

McDonald, who had been on a crime rampage at the time of the shooting, was last year jailed for 13 years on 23 charges.

The inquest before Coroner Gordon Matenga at Auckland Coroner's Court is expected to finish this week.

- NZPA

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