Case against Morcombe accused likely to go to trial: defence

Daniel Morcombe.
Daniel Morcombe.

LAWYERS for the man accused of abducting and murdering Daniel Morcombe have admitted their client will most likely be sent to trial.

After the first week of the committal hearing for Brett Peter Cowan, the 42-year-old's defence counsel, Michael Bosscher and Tim Meehan of Bosscher Lawyers have acknowledged that chief magistrate Brendan Butler will find there is a prima facie case against him.

That is despite their claims the prosecution does not possess direct evidence against him.

"It would be almost a certainly that the matter will proceed ultimately to a trial," Mr Bosscher said outside court on Friday.

"Most matters do and the decision as to guilt, or otherwise, is one that the jury will have to determine in due course."

The Crown is believed to be in possession of more than 10,000 statements from witnesses, however some of it will be presented in closed court to protect the methodology used in certain aspects of the investigation.

Chief Magistrate Brendan Butler will not announce his decision until February at the earliest.

If he rules, as expected, the matter will go to trial, Cowan will not face a jury until at least the second half of next year.

Given the sheer amount of evidence and witness testimony involved, lawyers expect the trial to run for months, not weeks as is often the case.

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Topics:  abduction brett peter cowan daniel morcombe murder

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