• NT Constable Zachary Rolfe will face a murder trial over the shooting death of 19-year-old Walpiri man Kumanjayi Walker on August 18. (ABC News/Grenville Turner)Source: ABC News/Grenville Turner
Constable Zachary Rolfe, who shot and killed Warlpiri man Kumanjayi Walker in Yuendumu in 2019, will face trial on August 18 in Darwin.
30 Jul 2021 - 10:46 AM  UPDATED 30 Jul 2021 - 10:46 AM

A Northern Territory policeman accused of murdering a young Indigenous man during an outback arrest gone wrong will face trial within weeks.

Constable Zachary Rolfe, 29, shot and killed Kumanjayi Walker, 19, in the remote community of Yuendumu in November 2019.

His trial was postponed this month after the Crown's interstate prosecution team was unable to travel to the Top End due to NSW's COVID-19 outbreak.

It was on Friday relisted for August 18 when prosecutor Philip Strickland SC confirmed he would fly to Darwin to commence two weeks' quarantine on Monday.

His co-counsel Sophie Callan SC will not travel to the NT for the trial in the NT Supreme Court and is being replaced by another lawyer, who will travel from Victoria.

The new trial date comes two days after Rolfe's lawyer David Edwardson QC and Mr Strickland appeared before a full bench of the court for legal argument over the three proposed defences.

They are the "good faith" clause of the NT Police Administration Act; that Rolfe was performing his duty as a police officer when the shooting happened; and that he was acting in self-defence.

The Act contains provisions that give police officers immunity in certain circumstances if they were performing an authorised duty in "good faith" at the time.

Trial judge Acting-Justice Dean Mildren referred four questions for the court to consider to determine if all three defences can be employed.

The five judges reserved their decision, saying they will provide a judgment within two weeks.

Rolfe is charged with murder and the alternative charges of reckless or negligent conduct causing death, and engaging in a violent act causing death.

The trial was expected to run for four weeks in Darwin, which is about 1500 kilometres north of Yuendumu.

Fresh charges laid against officer Zachary Rolfe in shooting death of Kumanjayi Walker
Fresh charges have been laid against Constable Zachary Rolfe, accused of murder in the shooting death of 19-year-old Walpiri man, Kumanjayi Walker.