Ellis driving charges to be heard next week

DEATH driving charges against Tasmanian Director of Public Prosecutions Tim Ellis will be heard before deputy chief magistrate Michael Daly next week, after Chief Magistrate Michael Hill ruled himself out of hearing the matter.

Counsel for Mr Ellis filed an affidavit against the prosecution's claim the case should be heard by an interstate magistrate, the contents of which were not disputed in open court.

In the Hobart Magistrates Court this afternoon, Mr Hill said he had read the application to have he matter heard by a Tasmanian magistrate and disqualified himself forthwith.

Mr Ellis has pleaded not guilty to one count of causing death by negligent driving for the Midland Highway crash, which claimed the life of 27-year-old Launceston woman Natalia Pearn.

The prosecution alleges Mr Ellis's Mercedes was on the wrong side of the road when it and Ms Pearn's hatchback collided near Oatlands on March 24.

The case was adjourned to Mr Daly's court next Friday.

Mr Ellis, who was not in court for today's proceedings, has been suspended on full pay until the matter is finalised. Parliament has since changed the Director of Public Prosecutions Act to allow deputy DPP Daryl Coates to be appointed acting DPP while the case unfolds.

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