Bid to halt man's extradition to China

  • 16/12/2015
Justice Minister Amy Adams (Simon Wong/3 News)
Justice Minister Amy Adams (Simon Wong/3 News)

A Korean-born New Zealand resident accused of murdering a young woman in China can be extradited, after the Government received assurances he will not face the death penalty if convicted.

But a legal challenge is already under way to try and stop Kyung Yup Kim from being sent to Shanghai to face trial.

Justice Minister Amy Adams has decided Kim can be extradited, after she sought assurances he wouldn't face the death penalty in China if found guilty of a charge of "intentional homicide" over the death of a young woman in December 2009.

"As part of consideration of this matter I have sought, and received, undertakings from the Chinese government waiving the death penalty should Mr Kim be convicted and providing for his monitoring, fair treatment and trial," Ms Adams said in a statement.

"I have also given careful consideration to Mr Kim's submissions which were provided at a number of stages in the process.

"After considering all the relevant material and in light of the People's Republic of China's assurances, I was satisfied none of the mandatory or discretionary grounds in the Act prevented his surrender."

Kim returned to New Zealand from South Korea in October 2010.

The extradition request was received by New Zealand in May 2011 and Kim has been in custody since June 2011.

A District Court judge decided Kim was eligible to be extradited in November 2013, but the final decision rested with the justice minister.

Kim and his lawyer Tony Ellis have mounted multiple legal challenges to put a halt to the extradition process.

They've now sought a judicial review of Ms Adams' decision to allow the extradition to go ahead.