Adrian Ernest Bayley, the man accused of murdering Irish woman Jill Meagher in Melbourne, Australia last fall, is to contest the charges against him.

Bayley appeared by video link from Melbourne Assessment Prison at a committal mention at Melbourne magistrates' court on Thursday. The only time Bayley spoke during the hearing was to indicate he could hear the court.

According to the Irish Times, Deputy chief magistrate Felicity Broughton confirmed Bayley's legal team had been granted the right to cross-examine witnesses at a 1½-day committal hearing scheduled for March 12th and 13th.

Broughton also accepted an unopposed application to extend a suppression order, introduced after Bayley's arrest last year, banning potentially damaging information about him from being published on the Internet.

The suppression order will be in place until the March hearing.

Bayley, 41, allegedly accosted Jill Meagher after she was returning home from a night with friends at a pub in a Melbourne suburb last September. She was found days later, raped and strangled.