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Delays Have Cost More Than $200,000 In Lost Earnings, Court Told

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Auckland, Feb 4 NZPA - Delays in hearing a drugs charge against him have cost him more than $200,000 in lost earnings, former television host and radio journalist Peter Verschaffelt has told a court.

Verschaffelt, 60, is facing one charge of being a party to the manufacture of methamphetamine and one charge of attempting to pervert the course of justice.

The charges were laid more than two years ago but had yet to reach a depositions hearing.

In North Shore District Court today the depositions hearing was adjourned without any evidence being heard, and for the final time, after Verschaffelt told Judge David Wilson, QC, he was desperate to get to court so he could show there was no case to answer.

It followed a successful application to the judge from his lawyer Roger Chambers to withdraw from the case.

Verschaffelt told the court he learnt from Mr Chambers after 5pm last night evidence from witnesses was to have been handed up, meaning he could not cross-examine witnesses today.

"This was to be my first opportunity to make a case that there is no case against me," Verschaffelt told the court after Mr Chambers had left.

He said delays in getting the case to a depositions stage were not of his making but it was costing him $100,000 a year in lost earnings because no one would employ him while the charges "hang over me".

"No one in this land is more anxious than me for this case to be heard."

Verschaffelt, a former business radio journalist and presenter and producer of the TV programme, Made in New Zealand, also worked for Housing New Zealand and headed communications at Auckland City Council.

Verschaffelt was remanded on bail for a depositions hearing in May.

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