Lawyers for Constable Zachary Rolfe are arguing against giving evidence at the Kumanjayi Walker trial

Written by

The battle to limit the questions Constable Zachary Rolfe and other police officers can be asked at the coronial inquest into the death of Kumanjayi Walker has been heard in the Northern Territory Supreme Court.

WARNING: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander readers are advised that this article contains an image of a person who has died, used with the permission of their family.

Over two days, lawyers for Constable Rolfe joined those for Sergeant Lee Bauwens in a complicated legal review of a decision handed down by NT Coroner Elisabeth Armitage earlier this month.

The officers argued that they should not be forced to answer questions that could lead to police disciplinary action.

Judge Armitage is currently leading a months-long inquest into the shooting of 19-year-old Kumanjayi Walker, who died in 2019 after he was shot by Constable Rolfe during an attempted arrest in Yuendumu.

Constable Rolfe was found not guilty of any criminal charges in connection with the death earlier this year and was briefly called to give evidence to the inquest last week.

After less than an hour in the witness boxhe claimed a “criminal privilege” and refused to answer further questions that might have exposed him to a penalty.

His objection covered questions on 14 subjects, including text messages, his application to the NT Police Force, incidents of use of force and the events of the day Kumanjayi Walker died.

A black and white photo of a young man smiling, wearing a baseball cap, headphones around his neck
Kumanjayi Walker was fatally shot by Constable Rolfe in Yuendumu in 2019.(Delivered)

Judge Armitage previously ruled in relation to another police officer, Sergeant Paul Kirkby, that she could give him a certificate protecting him from self-incrimination as a result of anything he said in the witness box.

About the author

Leave a Comment