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Armed Police Surround Courthouse

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Greymouth, Oct 13 NZPA - Armed police surrounded the Greymouth courthouse this morning as the depositions hearing got under way into the murder of Korean backpacker Jae Hyeon Kim.

Police said the unprecedented security was a precaution after the presence of white supremacist members at a previous court appearance in Westport.

The 25-year-old tourist was believed to have been slain between September 29 and October 22 2003 at Charleston, 27km south of Westport.

Three people were arrested after the cold case was reopened earlier this year as a result of a tip-off from the public.

Details surrounding the arrested men remain cloaked in secrecy, and only one of those charged has been named, 28-year-old Nelson fisherman Shannon Brent Flewellen.

Two others have name suppression, including a 31-year-old former Westport man, but the nature and details of the charge relating to the third man is suppressed.

The depositions hearing, which is being held before two Justices of the Peace from Timaru and Ashburton, was stalled this morning and was adjourned until 1pm.

Crown prosecutor Chris Lange said he could not give the reason for the delay: "There is a reason, but that's as much as I can say".

Members of the Armed Offenders Squad stood sentry at the entrance to the courthouse, two guarded the back and another was positioned across the road at the entrance to the Greymouth Police Station car park.

A police dog handler was also wandering the surrounding streets.

Security guards and the police checked the identity of everyone entering the courthouse.


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