Accused wife-killer Steve Fesus has applied to delay court proceedings to allow his legal team time to go through ‘‘hundreds of hours’’ of conversations recorded covertly as part of the police investigation.
Port Kembla Local Court heard strenuous arguments for both delaying and bringing to a head committal proceedings as the case had its 14th legal airing, on Friday.
The 43-year-old security guard allegedly strangled his wife Jodie and dumped her body in a shallow beachside grave near Gerroa in 1997.
He was charged with murder in July, 2013, almost 17 years after Ms Fesus went missing from the couple’s Mount Warrigal home.
In court on Friday, Ananda Anaranath, for the Director of Public Prosecutions, decried the ‘‘extraordinary’’ series of delays to the case, and questioned whether witnesses who had given statements in the immediate aftermath of Ms Fesus’s disappearance would still be alive when the time came to testify.
‘‘Some of the witnesses whose statements were taken were in advanced years even at that time,’’ Mr Anaranath said.
‘‘There comes a time in any proceedings that the court has to say, enough is enough.’’
But defence solicitor Rajiv Baldeo, acting for Fesus, told the court he had only become aware of material ‘‘very relevant to committal proceedings’’ on May 2.
He said the defence needed time to go through the ‘‘very voluminous bundle’’, which included discs of covertly recorded conversations from two previous police investigations into Fesus.
‘‘To suggest that is not relevant is something Your Honour should not accept,’’ Mr Baldeo told Magistrate Michael Stoddart.
Mr Stoddart will determine the application July 18.