One of two men charged in relation to one of the largest hauls of methamphetamine ever seized in Northland want his case to be dealt with by the High Court.
Shane Legg, 30, is in custody awaiting trial in the Whangarei District Court later this year.
Also charged with him is Tuara Kingi, 30, and he is not opposing an application by Legg to have his case tried in the High Court.
Almost 158g of methamphetamine - also known as P - $21,000 in cash, a P-lab, a .22 calibre pistol and stolen property, were allegedly found when police raided a Hikurangi house on July 22 last year.
Legg's lawyer Chris Muston told Justice Paul Heath in the High Court at Whangarei this week that his client's trial needed to be heard as soon as possible because of Legg's poor health and ongoing public interest in the case.
The issues at trial were the methamphetamine's possession and control, aspects that were best dealt with by the High Court, he submitted.
Justice Heath said the effect of illness was not enough and that there had to be public concern about the alleged offending or some other question of law before the High Court accepted the case.
Crown solicitor Mike Smith said the trial was set down for December but a back up date was allocated in August.
The earliest the High Court could deal with the matter if the transfer was successful was November 23, he said.
By saying yes to the application the Crown was accepting the District Court's failure to deal with the case.
An earlier application by Legg to have his trial moved to Auckland was rejected by Judge Duncan Harvey.
Meanwhile, Legg's parents have asked the Ombudsman's office to look into a lack of care for their son in prison.
"Due to a lack of care for someone in Shane's condition, mainly nourishment and medical care, with a lack of proper diet, his esophagus has opened more and has gone from a trickle to a very serious leak," they said in a letter.
Legg had suffered a serious neck injury that left him partially paralysed.