Defence Department lawyers are working with prosecutors to find a ‘potential resolution’ after the department was charged over the death of Jason Challis.
Defence Department lawyers are working with prosecutors to find a ‘potential resolution’ after the department was charged over the death of Jason Challis.

Defence Department in court over soldier’s death

LAWYERS for the Department of Defence are working with prosecutors to find a "potential resolution" after the department was charged over the death of ADF soldier Jason Challis, a court has heard.

The Commonwealth Department of Prosecutions charged the Defence Department with three breaches of work health and safety laws following an inquest into the 25-year-old's death.

Private Challis was killed during a training exercise at an ADF facility around 130km southeast of Darwin.

In January, Coroner Greg Cavanagh found Challis was still in what should have been a "no go zone" when he was struck in the head by bullet fragments.

He was declared dead shortly after.

Counsel for the Department, Lyndsay Barrett, appeared via phone in the Darwin Local Court on Tuesday and told the court they were considering new material that was relevant to the case.

"A further expert report was served yesterday … there's ongoing discussions with the prosecution about a potential resolution," she said.

Ms Barrett said she and the prosecution were also working towards "limiting what might be before the court."

During a previous hearing of the case, the court heard as many as 38 current and former ADF members could be called to give evidence if the charges proceed to trial.

The matter will return to court on June 30.

Originally published as Defence Dept in NT court over soldier's death


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