Jindarat Prutsiriporn kidnapping trial: Headhunters 'ghost unit' involved

A group of Headhunters gang members calling themselves 'the ghost unit' were asked to help in the alleged kidnap of Jindarat Prutsiriporn, the Crown says.

Song Lek Liev is alleged to have devised the plan for an attempted kidnap of 50-year-old Jindarat Prutsiriporn two weeks before she died. 

They waited outside her Waterview house on February 15 but were reported acting suspiciously by a member of the public, and were soon told to move on by police, Crown prosecutor Gareth Kayes said in his opening address to the High Court at Auckland.

Two weeks later, they formulated another plan to kidnap her under the pretence of a drug deal. 

She was bundled into a car and the prosecutor says she was told words to the effect of: "Don't scream or try anything or else I will shoot you. If you try anything I know where your family lives."

She was held at various addresses and then, while being transported later the next evening, she was able to escape from the car's boot. 

The Crown prosecutor says she found a "chef's steel" (used to sharpen knives) in the boot she was being transported in and used that to gouge the lock open. 

She jumped from the boot of the moving car and was found by local residents in Papatoetoe. 

Mr Kayes says the Crown is not suggesting that the group intended to kill Ms Prutsiriporn but that they "inflicted fear and threats of violence and as a result of that fear she tried to escape, came out of the car boot and it was her head hitting the road that was a contributing factor to her death." 

Eleven people were charged initially - all charged with kidnapping and six of whom were also charged with manslaughter. 

There were some guilty pleas before the trial. Those that remain on trial are Seng Lek Liev, Apichart Korhomklang, Luigi Havea - charged with manslaughter and kidnapping. 

Masi Vaifale and Joseph Benjamin Haurua are charged with manslaughter and both have pleaded guilty to kidnapping. 

Tevita Matangi Fangupo is charged with kidnapping. 

Defence lawyers are expected to deliver their opening addresses to the court on Tuesday afternoon.