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Extradition request sent to Kenya

Extradition request to Kenya in Christchurch murder investigation

A formal extradition request has been made to Kenyan authorities for Samuel NJUGUNA, who is wanted for the alleged murder of Steven MAINA and the attempted murder of his estranged wife Lydia MUNENE, in Christchurch in 2009.

Head of the investigation, Detective Inspector Greg Williams, said authorities have been working on extradition proceedings since a warrant for Njuguna's arrest was issued in October last year.

"The New Zealand government has made a formal extradition request to Kenya, seeking the return of Mr Njuguna.

"MFAT officials, New Zealand's honorary consul in Nairobi, and NZ Police have been liaising with the Kenyan government about this case. This has included diplomats based in Pretoria visiting Nairobi, and our honorary consul pursuing the matter with the Kenyan police and prosecution service.

"Mr Njuguna is currently being sought by the Kenyan authorities. Once he is located, New Zealand's extradition request will be dealt with in accordance with Kenyan law.

"As is the case here, extraditions in Kenya involve a judicial process, which can be time-consuming. There is no need for an extradition treaty between Kenya and New Zealand in order for Mr Njuguna to be extradited.

"Without pre-empting any judicial process, we are hopeful that, once located, Mr NJUGUNA will be extradited to New Zealand without undue delay."

It is alleged that in the early hours of Saturday 12 September 2009 Njuguna entered the home of Munene, his estranged wife, in Burrows Avenue, Christchurch, and that he murdered Maina and attempted to murder Munene. All three persons are Kenyan nationals.

The investigation established that Njuguna left New Zealand about 1 pm on Sunday 13 September, prior to the attack being discovered. He flew to Kenya where it is believed he still remains.

Mrs Munene and Mr Maina were not found until Monday 14 September when a concerned friend went to her address and gained entry.

"In the first few days of the investigation I was able to make contact with Mr Njuguna's brother in Kenya who wanted to assist," said Detective Inspector Williams. "His family there felt that he should return to New Zealand and be held accountable. The family purchased a plane ticket for Mr Njuguna and he was due to return but at the last minute decided not to."

In October 2009 a warrant for murder and attempted murder was issued by the Christchurch District Court for Njuguna. This was a requirement for the commencement of extradition proceedings.

"The investigation team has worked closely with Crown Law, local Crown Solicitors, Interpol and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to construct the formal application for the extradition of Mr Njuguna back to New Zealand.

"In essence this required us to fully brief the file to a standard acceptable to the Kenyan Courts and required that sworn affidavits be completed for all witnesses which took some time to achieve."

ENDS

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