Grace Millane: Murder-accused to appear at Auckland High Court

The man accused of murdering British backpacker Grace Millane will face the Auckland High Court on Wednesday in his second court appearance since her death. 

Ms Millane, 22, arrived in New Zealand in late November in the second leg of a year spent backpacking around the world. She went missing on December 2, and her body was found a week later in a bush area of west Auckland.

A 27-year-old man was arrested over Ms Millane's death and he appeared at the Auckland District Court on December 10, where he was granted interim name suppression after his lawyer Ian Brookie signalled an appeal. 

At least one overseas media outlet published the 26-year-old's name after his court appearance, and while the name was later removed from the New Zealand version online article, it spread via social media. 

It prompted Justice Minister Andrew Little to speak out, saying the accused's defence team "will be looking for every opportunity" to say their client's fair trial rights have been compromised.

It is expected that the murder-accused's interim name suppression will continue unless it times out or if Mr Brookie files an appeal. 

If the accused pleads guilty, he will be given a sentencing date and the judge will be given resources to decide what his sentence should be. 

If he pleads not guilty, a date will be set for a prospective trial at the High Court, and could take place this year. 


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