Warne gets stuck in a murder trial

Star Australian cricketer Shane Warne might be called to give evidence in a case involving an Indian origin taxi driver who allegedly murdered a teenage passenger.

india Updated: Apr 26, 2006 18:18 IST

Star Australian cricketer Shane Warne might be called to give evidence in a case involving an Indian origin taxi driver who allegedly murdered a teenage passenger.

According to media reports in Melbourne, Warne, Test cricket's highest wicket taker, was a witness to the incident which took place at Port Melbourne in December last year.

The driver, 28-year-old Rajbinder Singh Shahi, has been charged with running down 17-year-old Xavier Salmon at Centre Avenue in the Port Melbourne area.

Defence counsel Paul Duggan reportedly told the Melbourne Magistrates' Court Wednesday that Warne had seen the teenagers in the taxi misbehaving prior to the incident. He said that Warne had pulled down the window of his car to say hello to the group of teenagers but the youngsters started abusing Warne and throwing lollies at him.

"He (Mr Warne) told the defendant to get rid of them, get them out of the cab," a report in the Melbourne Herald Sun quoted Duggan as telling the court.

Duggan, according to the reports, said that he may not call Warne for the preliminary trial but might require him if the case goes to the Victorian Supreme Court.

Magistrate Charles Rozencwajg, according to the reports, has remanded Shahi to custody. The accused, who did not apply for bail, has been ordered to appear in court again on August 28.

The incident took place on December 6 last year after an apparent dispute over taxi fare for Salmon and his friends. Shahi allegedly ran down Salmon less than a minute after dropping the group at the street.

Warne, who is expected to spearhead Australia's campaign to retain the Ashes later this year, is currently in England captaining county side Hampshire.

First Published: Apr 26, 2006 18:18 IST