A man charged with manslaughter after his mother-in-law died when a drug package burst in her stomach has appeared in the High Court at Auckland today.
Alleged cocaine smuggler Peter Leaitua, 40, was arrested in December and charged with importing cocaine, three months after his Colombian mother-in-law Sorlinda Aristizabal-Vega, 37, died when a cocaine-filled condom burst in her stomach.
Police allege Aristizabal-Vega had flown with Leaitua, his wife and two children to New Zealand from Argentina on September 6.
She became ill and died from a heart attack after the condom burst.
An autopsy found she had been carrying more than 20 packages of cocaine worth an estimated $120,000 to $190,000.
Leaitua was later charged with manslaughter in relation to the death.
He was remanded on bail to a trial in April.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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