|A 35-year-old Korean national identified only by his surname Kim (right), appeared at Auckland’s North Shore District Court for a hearing on his theft charge Sunday. Yonhap|
The man -- a 35-year-old Korean national with residency in New Zealand -- is under police custody in Auckland for theft he allegedly committed in 2015. The New Zealand Police said they are continuing to interrogate the suspect and liaise with Korean authorities through Interpol.
Identified only by his surname Kim, the suspect is accused of killing his mother and half brother on Oct. 21 in Yongin, Gyeonggi Province, South Korea. On the same day, he is believed to have murdered his stepfather in Pyeongchang, Gangwon Province.
He flew to New Zealand with his wife and two young daughters on Oct. 23 and “arrived in Auckland on Oct. 24” according to New Zealand’s immigration office. It also confirmed the suspect was a New Zealand resident.
“Extradition proceedings have not been received, therefore New Zealand police are not in a position to release further details,” a spokesman for New Zealand police was quoted as saying by a local newspaper.
Kim was arrested by New Zealand police on Sunday on the charge of theft. He reportedly sold off electrical appliances worth 3.1 million won (NZ $4,100), from a rental house, such as a refrigerator, a microwave and a washing machine.
Auckland’s North Shore District Court, which held a hearing on his charge Sunday, ordered the prohibition of disclosure of Kim’s identity and his remandment until Nov. 1.
South Korean authorities have requested the court to extend his custody for the repatriation process.
Although further details are not known on Kim’s trial, the result is expected to affect when he would be taken back to Korea, police here said. They may consider annulling his passport to have him deported from New Zealand.
Seoul and Auckland signed an extradition treaty in 2001.
By Kim Da-sol (firstname.lastname@example.org)