12 May 2016

Jury retires in Auckland murder trial

6:24 pm on 12 May 2016

The jury has retired to consider its verdicts in the case of a man accused of murdering his ex-girlfriend and her three year-old daughter.

Juwairiyah Kalim - known as Jojo  (left)  and a photo of her and her mother Pakeeza Faizal, also known as Mubarak Yusuf.

Juwairiyah Kalim - known as Jojo (left) - and a photo of her and her mother Pakeeza Faizal, also known as Mubarak Yusuf. Photo: Supplied / NZ Police

The Crown says Kamal Reddy thought he had gotten away with murder when eight years after killing his girlfriend and her three year-old daughter no one had found their bodies buried under a motorway bridge.

Mr Reddy denies murdering Pakeeza Yusuf and her three-year-old daughter, Juwairiyah Kalim, in 2006 and is on trial at the High Court in Auckland.

His defence is that Ms Yusuf's new boyfriend carried out the killings.

Today the jurors heard closing addresses from the Crown and defence lawyers before Justice Asher summed up the case and they retired to consider their verdicts.

The Crown says Ms Yusuf and her daughter were missing for eight years before their bodies were found under a motorway bridge near Takapuna.

Crown prosecutor Natalie Walker said it was only following a six month undercover operation that Mr Reddy led police to the burial site under a motorway overbridge on Auckland's North Shore.

She said Ms Yusuf and Mr Reddy had tried to make their relationship work, despite him threatening to kill her.

Ms Walker said Mr Reddy was a violent man with an alcohol problem who beat Ms Yusuf before their relationship fell apart in December 2006.

She said Mr Reddy had helped Ms Yusuf into a new flat in Howick by paying the $750 rent deposit but grew resentful when she stopped him from coming around.

She said he broke in and strangled her with an iron cord before smothering her daughter with a pillow.

He then set about covering his tracks by moving Ms Yusuf's furniture and belongings out of her flat and telling her mother that she had married a European man and, on another occasion, that she had moved to Niue.

Ms Walker said there were five reasons why the jurors could be sure Mr Reddy was guilty. He confessed to undercover police officers, he tried to cover his tracks, he abused Ms Yusuf and he took money from her accounts even after she disappeared.

Ms Walker also reminded the jurors that Mr Reddy had confessed to his uncle that he had killed the pair. He told his uncle he had the bodies in the back of his car when he visited his uncle's home, asking for help in finding a burial site.

That confession stayed secret for eight years until a six month long undercover police operation.

Strict suppression orders prevent RNZ News from publishing details of the operation but it can be reported that during the operation, officers befriended Mr Reddy and gained his trust before he took part in criminal activities.

During the operation Mr Reddy confessed to carrying out the killings and led an undercover officer to the burial site.

But Mr Reddy's lawyer Jonathan Krebs said the confessions were unsafe.

He said his client disputes that he told his uncle, Bal Naidu, about having killed his girlfriend.

Mr Krebs said his client had given evidence to say he never said that and that Naidu had a reason to please the police after being charged with being an accessory after the fact to murder.

Mr Krebs said his client maintained that it was Ms Yusuf's new boyfriend, who he knew as James, who had carried out the killings and buried the bodies.

He said there were no photos of his client burying bodies or coming and going from the burial site.