3 Aug 2011

Judges consider verdict in taxi murder trial

10:09 am on 3 August 2011

A Chinese national accused of killing an Auckland taxi driver last year is now waiting to hear whether a court in Shanghai will find him guilty of murder.

Hiren Mohini was stabbed to death in the Auckland suburb of Mt Eden in January last year.

The accused, Xiao Zhen, was located a few months later in China.

The New Zealand policeman attending the trial says it lasted just a day.

Detective Senior Sergeant Hywel Jones told Morning Report that Mr Zhen agreed in court with some of the evidence against him, but that does not equate to a guilty plea. The judges will now decide on a verdict.

Xiao Zhen is charged with murder, wounding with intent to cause death. If convicted, sentencing could be in a matter of weeks.

Mr Jones says a guilty verdict for murder would normally lead to the death sentence, but the Chinese Government has promised that will not apply in this case.

Three judges were presiding at the trial. No New Zealand witnesses gave evidence; instead their statements were given to the court.