23 Mar 2015

Murder accused killed for money - lawyer

8:40 pm on 23 March 2015

A prosecution lawyer has told an Auckland jury that a man accused of murdering his acquaintance by burning him alive was prepared to kill a young man for his money and that was what had happened.

Shivneel Kumar (left) and Bryne Permal (far right) in Auckland High Court.

Shivneel Kumar (left) and Bryne Permal (far right) in Auckland High Court. Photo: RNZ / Diego Opatowski

The charred body of Shalvin Prasad, 21, was found in scrub in Kingseat in 2013, the day after he withdrew his life savings.

Shalvin Prasad

Shalvin Prasad Photo: Supplied / NZ Police

Two men in their early 20s, Shivneel Kumar and Bryne Permal, have both denied murder.

Prosecutors said Mr Permal was recruited for the killing because violence was needed to steal money from the victim.

In summing up the Crown's arguments, prosecutor Aaron Perkins said Mr Kumar was desperate for Mr Prasad's money, and needed Mr Permal to hold or restrain the victim.

Mr Perkins told the jury Mr Kumar was perfectly confident about swindling money from Mr Prasad, and Mr Permal was only needed for the attack.

He said Mr Kumar had been the driving force behind the killing, and spun some sort of story to get Mr Prasad to take $30,000 from his bank accounts.

Mr Perkins said Mr Kumar told Mr Prasad not to text him as he waited in the bank carpark, because he knew what was going to happen later that evening.

"Outside in the green Holden is Mr Kumar waiting with great anticipation because he can just smell that money now, but he doesn't want any texts about this because he knows what's going to be happening - what he and Mr Permal were going to be doing later that night when they got their hands on that money."