2 Dec 2011

French Polynesia murder accused remanded in custody

11:52 am on 2 December 2011

A French Polynesian tour guide has been remanded in custody to await trial for the murder of a German tourist.

31 year old Arihano Haiti surrendered to police earlier this week after 50 days on the run.

He is being held in Nuutania prison on a charge of killing 40-year-old Stefan Ramin.

The victim's charred remains were found days after he went missing on Nuku Hiva in October during a round-the-world sailing trip with his girlfriend, Heike Dorsch.

The chief prosecutor in French Polynesia has denied reports that Mr Ramin had been the victim of cannibalism, as had been speculated in some foreign media.

Ms Dorsch has told investigators Mr Ramin had headed for the interior of the island with the guide, who returned alone to the couple's boat hours later to tell her that her partner had been injured and needed help.

She says she followed the guide, who tried to assault her sexually after tying her to a tree, but she managed to escape.

Mr Haiti will be tried for murder and sexual assault.