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Woman in boot witness 'lying': lawyer

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 12/05/2017

Jindarat Prutsiriporn © NZ Police Jindarat Prutsiriporn The lawyer for a man accused of masterminding the kidnap of a woman who died when she fell from the boot of a moving car has attacked a Crown witness as a "liar" and drug user.

Jindarat Prutsiriporn, 50, hit her head when she fell onto a road in the Auckland suburb of Papatoetoe in March last year after forcing the car boot's lid open in a bid to escape her kidnappers.

Six people are on trial in the High Court at Auckland facing a series of manslaughter and kidnapping charges related to her death.

On Friday, defendant Seng Lek Liev's lawyer Mark Ryan attacked the credibility of Crown witness Sovnarith Ing by asking him about text messages he sent close to the time of Ms Prutsiriporn's kidnapping.

Reading texts such as, "Do you got the stuff?", Mr Ryan repeatedly asked Mr Ing if they related to the use and purchase of drugs.

In response, Mr Ing repeatedly said "No comment", using his right to refuse to answer incriminating questions.

Becoming increasingly frustrated, Mr Ryan at one point burst out, "That's utter tripe, isnt it?", and turned to the court's Cambodian interpreter for help translating his statement to Mr Ing.

He also accused Mr Ing of lying to the jury and asked him why he had lied to police and admitted in court he had a tendency to lie.

Mr Ing earlier testified he was unwittingly caught up in the plan to attack Ms Prutsiriporn after a number of men surprised him by demanding he handover his car so they could put the kidnapped woman into its boot.

Scared, Mr Ing said he begged the men not to drag either him or his family into the alleged crime.

Ms Prutsiriporn was kidnapped at gunpoint from outside her home on February 29, before being transported to a number of properties over the next 22 hours, the Crown says.

She later died when she escaped and fell from the boot of Mr Ing's car while it was moving, prosecutor Gareth Kayes told the court.

The trial continues.

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