3 Feb 2016

Multiple rape-accused fires lawyer

1:47 pm on 3 February 2016

A man accused of multiple rapes has fired his latest lawyer just weeks before his High Court trial is set to start.

The man, who is in his 50s, has name suppression and appeared in the High Court in Auckland today.

Justice Moore told the man he would be well-served by the experienced defence lawyer Mina Wharepouri - his second lawyer.

The judge warned the man he would likely have to defend himself if he insisted on firing Mr Wharepouri.

The man said prison authorities were opening his mail which contravened his civil rights.

After a discussion with the accused, Justice Moore allowed Mr Wharepouri to withdraw from the case.

Crown prosecutor Robin McCoubrey said because some of the charges are of a sexual nature, the man would not be allowed to cross-examine all of the witnesses himself.