13 Oct 2008

Korean strangled after hitching ride, Crown alleges

5:10 pm on 13 October 2008

A Korean backbacker was strangled after hitching a ride with his killers near Westport in 2003, a depositions hearing was told on Monday.

Nelson fisherman Shannon Brent Flewellen, 29, and a former Westport man, 31, whose name is suppressed, are charged with murdering Jae Hyeon Kim in September or October 2003.

Mr Kim's body has not been found.

A third man admitted a prima facie case against him, but the charge and other details against him have been suppressed.

Prosecutor Chris Lange told the hearing at Greymouth District Court that Mr Kim was hitchhiking south from Westport when he was picked up by the three men.

They later pulled over and pretended the car was stuck, the Crown allges.

Mr Lange says Mr Kim was pushing the car when he was attacked from behind and throttled by Mr Flewellen and his body was later buried.