Baby formula threat suspect in court

  • 04/11/2015
Baby formula (File)
Baby formula (File)

An Auckland businessman who allegedly threatened to poison infant formula with 1080 if the pesticide wasn't banned has had his court case pushed back again.

The 60-year-old, who was granted name suppression at this first appearance, appeared in the High Court at Auckland on Wednesday, where he once again failed to enter a plea.

His lawyer, Dan Hughes, asked for it to be put off for four more weeks because the accused changed legal teams at his last appearance.

The case was originally heard in the Manukau District Court, but was moved on Wednesday.

Justice Graham Lang said a suppression ruling surrounding the man - which currently runs to April next year - would also be reviewed then.

The accused faces charges of attempted blackmail for financial gain.

He was arrested earlier this month following an 11-month, $3 million investigation into two anonymous letters sent to Fonterra and Federated Farmers in November last year.

The letters, sent with small packages of milk powder laced with a concentrated form of 1080, threatened to contaminate infant and other formula with the poison unless New Zealand stopped using 1080 for pest control by the end of March.

No contaminated infant formula was ever identified.

The man will appear again next month.

Depending on the plea entered, a trial date is expected to be set then. He has been remanded in custody.