Matthew Backhouse

Matthew Backhouse is an APNZ news reporter based in Wellington.

Mark Lundy retrial set for next year

Mark Lundy during his 2002 trial. Photo / Mark Mitchell
Mark Lundy during his 2002 trial. Photo / Mark Mitchell

Mark Lundy's trial for the murder of his wife and daughter will be held in Wellington next June.

The date for the trial, currently set down for eight weeks, was confirmed by Justice Ronald Young in the High Court at Wellington today.

Lundy was excused from attending today's hearing - a brief telephone conference to set dates and discuss legal matters ahead of the trial.

In a minute given after today's hearing, Justice Young said counsel had agreed it was in the interests of justice that the trial not be held in Palmerston North.

He agreed and ordered the trial be held in Wellington.

"I am satisfied that it is in the interests of justice that this trial be held in Wellington."

Justice Young signalled the June 9 trial date could be varied later.

"In identifying this date I accept that given that there will be significant scientific evidence at this trial there may need to be flexibility about the trial date."

Justice Young said counsel had been working on the basis of an eight-week trial, but a more accurate estimate should be known by the next hearing.

Lundy's lawyer, David Hislop QC, has asked for a pre-trial hearing to challenge two aspects of the Crown's scientific evidence.

The hearing has been set down for next March, pending a possible challenge by the Crown, to be determined by the end of the year.

Justice Young instructed Crown lawyer Philip Morgan QC to provide a draft list of witnesses, exhibits and briefs of evidence by the end of January.

The next hearing is set down for February.

In 2002, Lundy was convicted of murdering his wife Christine and 7-year-old daughter Amber and was sentenced to a jail term of at least 20 years.

He appealed to the Privy Council, which unanimously ruled last month to quash his convictions and a retrial was ordered.

Lundy was released on bail last month.

- APNZ

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