about bloody time too
still going to be almost another year before trial though
McGee brothers should stand, court rules
ANDREW DOWDELL, COURT REPORTER
February 14, 2008 11:30am
HIT-RUN lawyer Eugene McGee and his brother have lost a bid to have conspiracy charges against them permanently stayed.
District Court Judge Malcolm Robertson today ruled the McGee brothers should stand trial for attempting to pervert the course of justice.
It is alleged the brothers conspired to keep Eugene McGee away from police in the hours after he hit and killed cyclist Ian Humphrey in November 2003.
But the trial could still be some way off yet – with the McGees' lawyers considering a Full Court appeal against Judge Robertson's decision.
The ruling was bitter-sweet for Mr Humphrey's widow Di Gilcrist.
"I was bracing myself for the charges to be dismissed today," Ms Gilcrist said.
Eugene McGee, 53, and Craig McGee, 57, had argued they would be unable to get a fair trial because of adverse publicity following the fatal crash on the Gawler to Kapunda Rd.
McGee was acquitted of causing death by dangerous driving and the case became the subject of South Australia's only Royal Commission since 1995.
While the McGees showed little emotion as they walked from court, the strain on Ms Gilcrist was obvious.
"I have given up four years of my life so far ... I just have to continue to fight for some kind of justice," she said.
Prosecutor Kevin Taverner said he hoped the trial could go ahead before the end of the year.
"Unfortunately I have no control over listings but I expect it will get some degree of priority," Mr Taverner said.
Ms Gilcrist said even if the McGee brothers were eventually convicted, it would be a hollow victory.
"It would only be a version of justice – I think that we are so far down the track that the justice that I needed is never going to be given to me," she said.
"But this for me is probably more about changing the system ... so that possibly other people won't have to go through this."
The McGees will be back in court for a directions hearing next month.
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