Seoul city to extradite New Zealand murder suspect within 30 days

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korea plans to extradite a New Zealand murder suspect within 30 days. It comes about two months after her arrest in South Korea in connection with the bodies of her two children found in a suitcase in Auckland.

South Korea’s Justice Minister Han Dong-hoon has issued an order to extradite a 42-year-old woman surnamed Lee to New Zealand, the ministry said in a statement.

A ministry statement said Han took into account the Seoul court’s recent approval of his extradition, New Zealand citizenship, the crime scene and South Korea’s national interests.

After the Seoul High Court approved her extradition on Friday, Han made the final decision on whether to send her to New Zealand. Was.

Han has ordered authorities to also turn over evidence obtained during the woman’s arrest to New Zealand authorities, the ministry said.

The Department of Justice and Seoul prosecutors said they would consult with New Zealand authorities on the exact timing of the extradition within the next 30 days.

South Korean police arrested the woman in September based on a domestic court warrant issued after New Zealand requested her provisional arrest.The New Zealand Ministry of Justice then requested her extradition.

New Zealand Police said the South Korean warrant for the suspect’s arrest was linked to two murder charges. The children’s bodies were found in August after a New Zealand family purchased abandoned items, including two suitcases, from an online auction storage unit. Said it had nothing to do with it. The children, aged between 5 and 10, had died years earlier when their bodies were found in their suitcases.

According to South Korean police, the woman was born in South Korea and then emigrated to New Zealand, where she obtained citizenship. According to her immigration records, she returned to South Korea in 2018.

South Korean police suspected she might be the mother of the two children because her former address was registered in New Zealand in the warehouse where the suitcases were kept.