Drug trial paused as lawyers withdraw

The High Court trial of Sami Zagros will resume on Monday after the withdrawal of his lawyers....
The High Court trial of Sami Zagros will resume on Monday after the withdrawal of his lawyers. PHOTO: THE NEW ZEALAND HERALD
The trial of Sami Zagros on methamphetamine importation charges has been stalled for three days after his lawyers were given leave to withdraw.

Trial judge Justice Gerald Nation allowed media to report only limited details of the development yesterday morning, the third day of the judge-alone trial in the High Court at Christchurch.

Pip Hall QC and Ethan Huda’s application to withdraw was granted by Justice Nation.

He remanded Zagros (32) in custody until Monday so a stand-by defence lawyer can be appointed to help him when the trial resumes. He is representing himself.

Zagros is pleading not guilty to seven charges of importing methamphetamine, one of attempting to import the class A drug and one of possessing of the class B drug MDMA, or ecstasy, for supply.

Evidence was going to be heard from a man who had already admitted being involved in the operation, and the Crown said more than $170,000 was found at Zagros’ home.

Crown prosecutors Sean Mallett and Barnaby Hawes were to present their case over the next two days.

By David Clarkson

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