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Boot death accused plead not guilty

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 31/05/2016

Jindarat Prutsiriporn © NZ Police Jindarat Prutsiriporn Ten people have pleaded not guilty in relation to the fatal kidnapping of Auckland woman Jindarat Prutsiriporn.

An investigation into the death of Ms Prutsiriporn began after she escaped while bound and gagged from the boot of a moving car in the south Auckland suburb of Papatoetoe in March.

She later died at Middlemore Hospital after suffering a serious head injury.

The 10 accused appeared before Justice Graham Lang in the High Court in Auckland on Wednesday, where all but one lost name suppression.

They are Joseph Haurua, Masi Vaifali, Seng Lek Liev, Becoylee Paleaaesina, Apichart Korhomklang, Tevita Fangupo, Sodarith Sao, Luigi Havea and Panepasa Havea.

One woman has been granted interim suppression.

In early May, around 100 police staff, including the Armed Offenders Squad, carried out raids at 13 Auckland properties.

Five of the accused were charged with her manslaughter and kidnapping.

Another five were charged with kidnapping.

Some of the people arrested were members of the Head Hunters gang East Auckland chapter, including patched members.

It is believed that Ms Prutsiriporn's kidnapping was drug-related, police said.

Seven of the defendants were remanded in custody and three on bail until their next appearance.

A trial has been set for May 2017.

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