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NZ suitcase murders go to court

The woman charged with the New Zealand suitcase murderers of two children whose bodies were found in earlier this year was their mother, an Auckland court heard as the suspect made her first appearance in the country.

Appearing in court, the 42 year old stood silently in the dock wearing a beige hooded jacket. She was remanded in custody without entering a plea.

The woman arrived in New Zealand on Tuesday after being extradited from South Korea. Police there say they handed over significant pieces of evidence along with the suspect. According to South Korean police, the woman was born in South Korea and is a New Zealand citizen.

The woman’s identity has not been disclosed and will not be until at least her next court appearance, scheduled for December 14. Both she and the dead children are covered by injunctions preventing the publication of their names and identifying details.

In court on Wednesday, the woman requested via an interpreter, to speak to the judge but her lawyer intervened, saying…

“Thank you, your honour. I think it would be best if perhaps she didn’t.”

Judge Gus Andrēe Wiltens responded…

“I agree.”

The bodies of the two young children, who were under 10, were hidden in suitcases for a number of years. The suitcases were placed in storage in Auckland and when payment in the locker lapsed, the luggage was sold in a storage facility online auction. The family who bought the suitcases – doubtless expecting to find some goodies inside – were beyond shocked when they opened the luggage in their home in early August.

South Korea’s justice minister, Han Dong-hoon, issued an order for the woman’s extradition this month. The Seoul high court had earlier approved the NZ suitcase murder suspect’s extradition after she expressed her consent in writing.

The woman denied all charges after she briefly appeared in public during transit to Seoul. In response to every question shouted at her by the press, the woman replied…

“I didn’t do it.”

No progress is reported in Thailand’s own suitcase murder.

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