THE committal hearing into the disappearance of Huddersfield tourist Peter Falconio in the Australian Outback may have to be held in secret, a senior prosecutor has warned.
Northern Territory Director of Public Prosecutions Rex Wild QC said the court in Darwin would probably be closed to the media and public if a suppression order on some details of the case was lifted.
The Nine Network TV station has appealed to the full bench of the Northern Territory Supreme Court to lift the ban on the publication of the details.
"If that's the order made, that will be the last evidence that's given in public," Mr Wild told the appeal hearing.
"The rest of it will be conducted in private.
"Being realistic, that's what will have to happen."
Bradley John Murdoch, 45, is charged with murdering Mr Falconio, of Hepworth, and the unlawful assault and deprivation of liberty of his girlfriend Joanne Lees, from Almondbury,on July 14, 2001.
It was hoped the committal proceedings - and testimony from Miss Lees which was adjourned almost a week ago - could resume in Darwin Magistrates' Court tomorrow afternoon, after the Supreme Court appeal is concluded.
Magistrate Alasdair McGregor last week banned publication of several sections of the prosecution's opening address to ensure Murdoch would receive a fair hearing if the case goes to jury trial.