Chilean accused of killing Japanese student appeals French extradition

Nicolas Zepeda is wanted for the murder of Narumi Kurosaki. (Twitter pic/elhorizontedem1)

SANTIAGO: A Chilean man accused of murdering a Japanese student in a French city in 2016 has appealed a court decision to extradite him to face trial in France, his lawyer said.

Santiago’s Supreme Court agreed last week to French requests to hand over Nicolas Zepeda, 29, who is suspected of murdering ex-girlfriend Narumi Kurosaki in the eastern city of Besançon.

Kurosaki, 21, vanished from her university after eating with Zepeda, who returned to Chile by the time her disappearance was reported days later.

Investigators believe Kurosaki was killed by Zepeda in a jealous rage but her body was never found despite extensive searches.

On Tuesday, Zepeda’s lawyer Joanna Heskia called the judgement to be cancelled and for the extradition to be revoked as they were not valid under Chilean law.

The defence claims there is a lack of convincing evidence to say a homicide was committed.

The judgement in particular did not acknowledge suggestions “mentioning the possibility that Narumi was alive at least several days after the alleged facts,” according to Heskia.

Chile’s Supreme Court will hear both parties before coming to a final decision on an unspecified date.