Man accused of murdering Kiwi-born UK police officer Matt Ratana pleads not guilty

The man accused of murdering a Kiwi-born police officer while on duty in London has pleaded not guilty in court.

Metropolitan Police Sergeant Matiu 'Matt' Ratana, 54, was fatally shot in the chest as a handcuffed suspect was being taken into custody at the Croydon Custody Centre on September 25, 2020.

Sgt Ratana, who was originally from Hawke's Bay, was taken to hospital where he was later pronounced dead. He was reportedly two months away from being eligible for retirement when he died.

Louis De Zoysa, the 23-year-old suspect, was initially arrested for possession of class B drugs and ammunition - before he allegedly shot the officer. 

De Zoysa has remained in hospital after being shot in the neck during the incident.

On Friday (local time), De Zoysa appeared at Northampton Crown Court via video link in a wheelchair with his arm in a sling. He was assisted by an intermediary.

The BBC reported De Zoysa entered his plea by holding up a whiteboard with the words "not guilty" written on it.

A trial date was set for June 6.