Pirate attack: Kiwi's alleged killers appear in court

The wife of a New Zealand paua diver killed in Panama has faced his alleged murderers in court.

Sixty-year-old Alan Culverwell was killed by suspected pirates, who boarded his family yacht in Panama on Thursday.

One of the accused is a minor, and has been charged in a separate hearing. Two others appeared in court around 8am (New Zealand time).

Panamanian broadcaster TVN said on its Twitter account a teenager was given "provisional detention... for a crime against life and personal integrity (aggravated intentional homicide)".

The "juvenile prosecutor's office has a year to investigate", TVN said.

Alan's wife Derryn, who was wounded during the frenzied attack, attended both appearances.

The couple have two children, one of which suffered minor injuries.