Daniel Morcombe.
Daniel Morcombe.

Legal team questions witnesses

POTENTIAL testimony from witnesses claiming they saw slain teen Daniel Morcombe, his alleged abductor or cars at the abduction site is the subject of lengthy legal argument in a preliminary hearing. 

Brett Peter Cowan's legal team is arguing why those witnesses should be cross-examined to test their memories, their reliability and other issues not "adequately" covered during an inquest in 2010 into the boy's death.

Cowan was charged last year with the 13-year-old's abduction and murder on December 7, 2003.

The Palmwoods teen went missing while waiting for a bus at Woombye on the Sunshine Coast. His remains were found buried in the Glasshouse Mountains in August last year.

Lawyer Michael Bosscher said some of the witness statements were in "stark contrast" to Cowan's alleged admissions about the crime.

"The defence position will be the person they saw was not Mr Cowan," he said.

Mr Bosscher said the Crown case could be broken into several "buckets of evidence" - abduction site witnesses, police officers, coronial inquest transcripts, and scientific material before and after Cowan's arrest.

He said there was also the police case relating to Cowan before and after he gave evidence at the coronial inquest and admissions Cowan allegedly made.

Mr Bosscher said there had been substantial negotiations with the Crown and he expected the committal hearing, which was yet to be set, would be much shorter than expected.

"This is going to be a long committal, there's no two ways about it," he said.

"It's not going to be as long (as first thought).

"This is not simply a housekeeping matter ... (this is) in the interests of justice."

Mr Bosscher said he wanted to cross-examine abduction site witnesses on whether they had hypnotherapy or regression therapy, which people saw police photo boards and whether his client was on those boards.

Crown prosecutor Glen Cash said now that he was aware photo boards were an issue he would provide them but he noted "universally" witnesses who did see a photo board did not identify anyone.

He said the Crown had kept some matters to itself as a matter of "privilege", but had otherwise disclosed nearly everything defence had asked for.

"What must be disclosed has been disclosed," he said.

The hearing continues.



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