The 42-year-old woman, believed to be the mother of two children whose remains were found in suitcases in New Zealand, at Ulsan Central Police Station in South Korea on September 15, 2022. — AFP pic
SEOUL, Nov 11 — A South Korean woman facing murder charges over the deaths of two children whose remains were found in suitcases in New Zealand has agreed to be extradited, a court spokesperson said today.
A Seoul court approved today the extradition of the 42-year-old woman — who has previously denied the charges — after she agreed to the transfer in writing, the spokesperson told AFP.
South Korea’s Justice Ministry will make a final decision on the extradition to New Zealand soon, the spokesperson said.
“I can confirm the court approved the extradition request… It will happen within the week after the Justice Ministry approves it, which will happen because she agreed to the transfer,” the spokesperson said, adding that the suspect had “consented to the extradition in writing”.
South Korean police arrested the woman in the port city of Ulsan in September, weeks after New Zealand authorities discovered the remains of two children, believed to have been aged between five and 10 when they died.
Images in local media at the time showed the woman, who has not been identified by police in South Korea or New Zealand, being led out of an Ulsan police station by plainclothed investigators, covering her head with a large brown coat.
When asked by reporters whether she would confess to the killings, the woman repeatedly said “I didn’t do it” as she was led into a police vehicle.
The bodies were discovered after an unsuspecting family bought a trailer-load of items at an auction for abandoned goods.
New Zealand police have said the bodies were likely in storage for several years, which has complicated the investigation.
Authorities have repeatedly stressed that the family who found the bodies were not connected to the homicides and were being given support to help deal with the trauma.
After receiving a formal extradition request from New Zealand, South Korea’s justice ministry said it would “make every effort” to proceed with the woman’s transfer “in line with principles of the law”.
South Korean police have said the woman was born in the country and later moved to New Zealand, before returning to South Korea in 2018. — AFP pic