Zachery Rolfe

Greeva Garg –

Published on: August 23, 2021, at 12:15 IST

The High Court of Australia has again delayed the anticipated murder trail where Northern Territory Police Officer Zachary Rolfe is accused of murder, in regard to pending legal challenge in the Court.

The High Court accepted an urgent application from the prosecutors to delay the case at the last minute, after the Northern Territory Supreme Court refused to delay the case pending a special leave application to the High Court.

“It is a matter of the gravest community concern. It may take some time to hear the appeal itself,” Justice Jacqueline Gleeson said in decision to grant the stay of trail proceedings.

Walker stabbed Constable Rolfe in the shoulder with a pair of scissors during a police operation to arrest him and was shot three times. He died about two hours later in the community’s police station.

Constable Zachary Rolfe is been charged with alleged shooting to death of an aboriginal man Kumanjayi Walker in Yuendumu in November 2019. He is also facing alternative charges of manslaughter and engaging in a violent act causing death.

Rolfe has pleaded not guilty, and is protected by the Supreme Court’s interpretation of a new Northern Territory law. Constable Rolfe remains free on bail.

Prosecutors had sought the stay to appeal the NT Supreme Court decision that allowed Rolfe’s legal team to use a defence of good faith immunity, that revolved around the claim he was acting in his capacity as a police officer when the shooting occurred.

“It was not consistent with the criminal code which required a police officer’s actions to be reasonable for immunity to apply. The Code’s provisions are designed to protect the public from the excessive use of force,” Prosecutor Philip Strickland said.

The trial has previously been postponed twice by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The case will return to the High Court for the special leave application on September 10.


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