22/04/2005

British backpacker murder trial postponed

The trial of a man accused of murdering British backpacker Peter Falconio has been delayed.

Further investigations are to be conducted by both the prosecution and defence teams working on the case, it has been reported.

The trial of Bradley John Murdoch was due to begin in Darwin next month. Mr Murdoch denies the murder of Mr Falconio, as well as charges of assaulting and detaining his girlfriend Joanne Lees.

Mr Murdoch is accused of murdering Mr Falconio after stopping the camper van in which he and Ms Lees were travelling on July 14, 2001. It has been alleged that he shot the British backpacker, before punching Mrs Lees and forcing her into his pickup truck, from which she later escaped.

Mr Murdoch denies the murder of Mr Falconio, as well as charges of assaulting and detaining Ms Lees.

Mr Falconio’s body has never been found, although an extensive search involving Aboriginal trackers as well as police was conducted.

It is believed that Mr Murdoch’s trial may be postponed until October. However, it has been reported that a new trial date could be set at a hearing, due to be held on May 20.

(KMcA/GB)


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