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‘Prominent person’ facing rape charges may call witnesses to have case thrown out

A high-profile man who cannot be named for legal reasons could call witnesses to testify in his fight to stop rape charges against him from proceeding to trial.

Apr 05, 2023, updated Apr 05, 2023
A convicted killer said the law should not apply to his case (AAP Image/Darren England)

A convicted killer said the law should not apply to his case (AAP Image/Darren England)

The man, who is facing two charges of raping a woman in October 2021, had his case briefly mentioned for the third time in Toowoomba Magistrates Court on Wednesday.

Queensland law prohibits naming people accused of rape unless and until they are committed to stand trial.

The man was excused from appearing and prosecutor Nicole Friedewald told magistrate Kay Philipson the defendant’s legal team had been served the brief of evidence.

Defence solicitor Rowan King appeared by phone and told Philipson he needed another three weeks to seek material on discovery from prosecutors.

“By the next occasion we should be in a position to inform the court whether there are any other applications or further matters that are going to track through the committal stream,” King said.

The magistrate asked Friedewald if the defence’s “timeframe seems short”.

“The office that provides those statements takes at least four weeks to provide them and inform when they have received material allocated to a doctor,” Friedewald said.

“I would be seeking at least four weeks.”

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Philipson asked King if there was “the possibility of an application for witnesses to be cross-examined” during a committal hearing.

King replied “there was potential for that to occur”.

“Counsel are still finalising their position in respect to that and I think that will potentially will turn on the results of the report,” King said.

Philipson adjourned the matter until May 17 for a committal hearing with the defendant to remain on bail.

Lawyers for several media organisations sought an exemption to name the defendant in February, but Philipson denied their applications.

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