The preliminary inquiry for a Kivalliq man started at the Nunavut Court of Justice in Iqaluit Tuesday afternoon without him.
Colin Makpah, 28, is charged with manslaughter in the death of Donald Gamble in Rankin Inlet in 2010.
His preliminary inquiry has been delayed several times, first because of security concerns then this week because of weather. Makpah is stuck in a Nunavut community but the judge and lawyers decided to begin proceedings.
Members of the public had go through a metal detector before entering the courtroom. About 10 members of the families of both the deceased and the accused were in attendance.
Makpah is expected to arrive in Iqaluit Tuesday night.
The preliminary inquiry will determine if there's enough evidence to go to trial.