Woman accused of murdering kids found in suitcases keeps name suppression

A woman accused of murdering her two primary school aged children will keep her name suppressed, pending a decision from the Court of Appeal.

The woman's lawyer, Chris Wilkinson-Smith, said naming his client could endanger her safety and her “fitness to plead” for a trial next year must also be considered.

She was extradited from South Korea after the bodies of her children were discovered inside suitcases at an Auckland home in August 2022.

On August 11 last year, the bodies of two children were discovered in suitcases at an address on Moncrieff Ave in the south Auckland suburb of Manurewa.

The bodies were found, along with various household belongings, after they were unknowingly purchased by a family as part of an online auction for abandoned goods left in a storage locker.

Newshub reported in November last year that official documents showed the children died between May 22, 2018 and June 28, 2018. At that time they were aged eight and six years old. The identities of the children remain suppressed.

Lawyer Tania Goatley, lawyer for Warner Bros. Discovery and other media organisations, said the last name of the accused had already been published by a media outlet in South Korea and that members of the Korean community, and her church in New Zealand, already knew her identity. “Those two communities are already well aware of who she is - the horse has bolted…” Ms Goatley said.

A High Court Judge previously ruled that the accused no longer qualifies to keep her name a secret - saying there was not enough evidence to suggest she was "severely affected by the publication of her name, or that her safety would be endangered".

The accused is currently in custody at Auckland Regional Women’s Prison. Last week, during an appearance at the High Court, the woman told the court she was “going to prove her innocence”.

The Appeal Court judges have reserved their decision.