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Suitcase murder suspect pleads not guilty in New Zealand

WELLINGTON (AFP) – A 42-year-old mother accused of killing her two children and stashing their bodies in suitcases that were later sold at auction entered a plea of not guilty in a New Zealand court yesterday, after her extradition from South Korea.

The accused did not appear during yesterday’s brief hearing at Auckland High Court, but her defence lawyer Christopher Wilkinson-Smith entered two not-guilty pleas on her behalf.

Justice Sally Fitzgerald set a trial date for April 2024 with four weeks set aside for the hearing. At her first court appearance in Auckland two weeks ago, the day after her extradition from Seoul, it was confirmed the accused is the mother of the deceased children.

Court suppression orders bar the media from naming the woman or her deceased children.

The woman was arrested by Korean police in the port city of Ulsan in September, a month after her children’s remains were discovered in New Zealand hidden in two suitcases.


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