The court process for serious criminal cases can at times be confusing and difficult to follow.
You can access information about the various stages of the court process via a dedicated section on this website here.
The prosecution of Mr Gargasoulas
Update: July 4, 2018
At a hearing in the Supreme Court on July 4, 2018, a new date was set for a further fitness investigation to determine if Mr Gargasoulas is fit to stand trial. This will take place on October 12, 2018.
Depending on the outcome of this hearing, there may be a trial or special hearing from November 5, 2018.
Update: June 22, 2018
The jury was discharged on the morning of June 22 after failing to reach a verdict on Mr Gargasoulas’ fitness to stand trial.
The matter has been adjourned to July 4, 2018.
Update: May 22, 2018
The most recent stage in the prosecution of Mr Gargasoulas was a further mention hearing, which took place in the Supreme Court on May 21, 2018.
At this hearing, the Court heard Mr Gargasoulas had been assessed by four mental health experts, who all diagnosed him with a form of mental illness.
The Prosecution lawyers informed the Court that there are opposing views about whether Mr Gargasoulas is currently fit to stand trial.
The Court decided that a fitness investigation, where a jury would decide if the accused is fit to stand trial, would need to take place. A date for this hearing in the Supreme Court was set for June 12, 2018.
Update: March 20, 2018
The most recent stage in the prosecution of Mr Gargasoulas
was a further mention hearing, which took place in the Supreme Court on March 1, 2018.
At this hearing, the Court was advised by Defence and Prosecution lawyers of the progress of mental health experts in assessing whether or not the accused is fit to stand trial.
The Court has listed this matter for further mention on May 21, 2018, at 9.30am. At this time the Court will decide whether or not there needs to be a fitness investigation, where a jury would decide if the accused is fit to stand trial. If a fitness investigation is required this will commence in court on June 12, 2018.
The Prosecution requires the reports from the mental health experts before reaching a view as to whether or not the accused is fit to stand trial. These reports will only be available to the Prosecution lawyers from mid to late May, 2018.
A different court process applies in Mental Impairment cases, and information on this process is available on this website here.
At a hearing in the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on December 15, Mr Gargasoulas (the accused) decided not to proceed with a contested Committal Hearing in the Magistrates’ Court. As a result the case will now be conducted in the Supreme Court.
A Directions Hearing was held in the Supreme Court on Monday, December 18. At this hearing, lawyers for the accused informed the Supreme Court they had engaged a psychologist and a psychiatrist to assess whether their client was fit to stand trial and if he has the defence of mental impairment available to him. They said they had received a report from the psychologist and were waiting on the report from the psychiatrist.
Lawyers for the accused confirmed they would raise the issue of mental impairment and fitness to plead. The prosecution is in the process of engaging its own experts to have the accused assessed to determine the future conduct of the case.
The case was adjourned with a further hearing to take place in the Supreme Court on Thursday, March 1, 2018.
Witnesses please note: Witnesses are not required to attend court in the foreseeable future and if you are required, you will be informed well in advance by Victoria Police or the OPP.
The OPP has produced a guide called Prosecuting Mental Impairment Matters that explains the court process where mentally ill or cognitively impaired people are prosecuted for serious crimes.
The OPP has sent out a letter to witnesses, victims, and bereaved family members directly involved in this matter, which contains information on the prosecution of Mr Gargasoulas.