Morgan Tait is the NZ Herald's police reporter.

Kiwis have Australian murder trial delayed

Greg Dufty has not been seen since July and his body never found. Photo / AAP / Queensland Police
Greg Dufty has not been seen since July and his body never found. Photo / AAP / Queensland Police

Two New Zealanders on murder charges in Australia have had their case delayed.

Kiwi cousins Lionel Patea and Aaron Crawford are charged alongside Liam Bliss for the murder of missing man Greg Dufty, who has not been seen since July and his body never found.

Patea, 24, is also facing charges of murdering his ex-partner, Tara Brown, 24, who he allegedly ran off the road and bashed to death as she lay trapped in the wrecked vehicle.

Patea was charged with her murder in the Gold Coast on September 8, and weeks later -- while in custody -- was charged with the killing of Mr Dufty.

Patea reportedly used Ms Brown's car on July 6 to go to meet his cousin, Crawford, before they allegedly murdered Mr Dufty. Mr Dufty was reported missing on July 10, and it is understood that Crawford was interviewed by police days later.

On November 2, charges were laid against the pair -- at which time Patea was already in custody for Ms Brown's death and Crawford was back in New Zealand, where he was extradited from.

Yesterday, the men appeared in the Southport Magistrates Court.

Their lawyers were declined a bid by magistrate Chris Callaghan to get police to print a large brief of evidence, the Gold Coast Bulletin reported.

The court was told the extensive amount of evidence had been provided electronically on a hard drive but some statements were missing.

Crawford's solicitor Chris Nyst said his client was in custody and had limited access to computers, therefore required a printed version.

He said the hard drive contained 1300 CCTV clips, none of which were able to be viewed, and a "heavy volume" of audio material which had not been transcribed.

The only fair way to provide a brief of evidence for someone in custody was to provide a hard copy, he said.

But the magistrate said the prosecution had complied with their obligations through the electronic brief of evidence.

However, he criticised the prosecutions bid for a two month adjournment requested to await DNA results.

He adjourned the case until February 25 but said it was "unacceptable" the DNA results would take so long.

- NZ Herald

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