The Crown plans to apply to bring all cases together for three men facing charges relating to the alleged murder of a Greymouth mother.
The joinder application is likely to be filed for a case review hearing which is being set for April 20.
It was set by Justice David Gendall at a complicated video-link hook-up in the High Court at Christchurch today.
The judge and prosecutor Claire Boshier were at the Court Precinct in Christchurch, while one of the accused was on a video-link from a prison in the North Island and the defence counsel was on a link from the High Court in Wellington.
Miss Boshier indicated the Crown planned to seek to join the cases together even though one remains in the District Court jurisdiction at present.
George Sean Warren, 45, was arrested a day after the woman was fatally shot on October 22. He has pleaded not guilty in November and is next due to appear in the High Court on February 9. The name of the alleged murder victim has been suppressed.
A second man appeared in the Wellington District Court in December, when he was granted interim name suppression and remanded in custody for today’s video-link hook-up. The 38-year-old Porirua man faces charges of murder – including being a party to murder – and conspiring to defeat the course of justice by concealing evidence.
Justice Gendall continued the interim suppression until the case review on April 20 because the lawyer, who was standing in for defence counsel, said he had no instructions about it. Miss Boshier said she did not oppose the order being continued but the Crown would oppose it at the case review hearing.
An application for the second man’s release on electronically monitored bail was deferred without being heard. He has entered no pleas.
The third man charged, a 48-year-old, has appeared in court in Greymouth charged with conspiring to defeat the course of justice by suppressing evidence and unlawful possession of a rifle and shotgun. He has pleaded not guilty and elected trial by jury.
At his second appearance, he was granted interim name suppression. He is next due to appear at a case review hearing in Greymouth on February 28.