The man accused of killing Auckland businesswoman Elizabeth Zhong has pleaded not guilty to her murder.
Zhong, 55, went missing from her home in the east Auckland suburb of Sunnyhills in November last year. Police later discovered her body in the boot of her Land Rover, parked a short distance from her home. It wasn’t until February this year, that an arrest was made in the case.
The accused appeared in the Auckland High Court on Wednesday morning and pleaded not guilty to murdering Zhong. The man has interim name suppression.
Justice Sally Fitzgerald on Wednesday acknowledged the presence of Zhong’s family members who were in court for the appearance.
A trial date has been set down for April next year, and the accused has been remanded in custody until then.
Counties Manukau detective inspector Shaun Vickers said at the time of the man's arrest that police have worked diligently to bring justice for Zhong, a businesswoman in the film and wine industries.
"We know the community expected police to get on with the investigation and bring about justice for Elizabeth. From the outset of this investigation, the team of detectives working on Operation Attina have worked diligently to bring about a result in this case.
"We hope this will bring some reassurance to the community and Elizabeth's family."