Sri Lankan murder accused held in New Zealand

Wellington - A Sri Lankan national accused of murdering his ex-wife in Switzerland 14 years ago appeared in a New Zealand court on Tuesday after allegedly spending more than a decade on the run.

Auckland police said they arrested the 42-year-old man, who was granted name suppression, after a three-year investigation.

They said Swiss authorities alleged the man murdered his former partner, named as 23-year-old Kavitha Kandiah, in Basel on 13 December 2000.

He allegedly arrived in New Zealand in February 2001 using false identification and travel documents and gained New Zealand citizenship in 2004, operating a small business in the Auckland suburbs.

New Zealand police said that they had been working with Swiss authorities via Interpol since 2011 and he was charged with Kandiah's murder after his arrest.

Auckland District Court judge Emma Aitken suppressed the man's identity until his next court appearance on 2 September.

"I can tell by looking at you that you are rather stunned to find yourself before the court," she said.