18 Mar 2019

Trial of prominent New Zealander aborted

11:46 am on 18 March 2019

The trial of a prominent New Zealander has been aborted.

Outside the Auckland District Court on Albert Street.

Photo: RNZ / Claire Eastham-Farrelly

The businessman, who has name suppression, has been on trial at the Auckland District Court this month after pleading not guilty to two charges each of indecent assault and attempting to dissuade a witness.

The man is accused of groping a man in 2008, and another in 2016, and then getting his associates to try to bribe the second man when he went to police.

Two other men, who also have name suppression, have pleaded not guilty to one and three charges of attempting to dissuade a witness respectively.

As the trial entered its third week this morning, Judge Russell Collins told the jury he was declaring a mistrial and aborting it.

He said there were a number of reasons of which the events in Christchurch were one factor, however he said it would not be appropriate to give a full explanation as there would need to be a retrial.

He said judges were always extremely reluctant to bring a trial to an early end, and the decision had not been taken lightly