TODAY |

High Court rules trial of doctor accused of murdering 16-year-old can be held in Dunedin

The High Court has denied an application for the trial of medical doctor Venod Skantha to be moved away from Dunedin.

Skantha, 30, is accused of murdering 16-year-old Amber-Rose Rush who was found dead in her home in February 2018.

Skantha pleaded not guilty to her murder in March last year.

Justice Nation held that it will be possible to enrol a jury for Skantha's trial in Dunedin that will be able to keep to their judicial promise to reach a verdict solely on the evidence that is put before them.

He said all people who are summonsed to potentially serve on the jury will have to consider whether they have any association with witnesses or the events of the trial which might make it difficult for them to reach a verdict impartially and objectively on the evidence.

Justice Nation was satisfied that it would be possible to hold Dr Skantha’s trial in Dunedin before a jury which will be able to reach a verdict solely on the evidence, uninfluenced by feelings of prejudice or sympathy.

Justice Nation also confirmed that the trial would not be proceeding on 18 March 2019, as earlier scheduled, because of the Court's need to deal with further pre-trial applications. The trial is likely to occur in the latter half of 2019.

Dr Venod Skantha denies murdering the 16-year-old, who was found dead in her home in February. Source: 1 NEWS