Mei Fan's partner to attend trial

TALIA SHADWELL
Last updated 10:24 19/04/2014
Mei Fan and Tani Hoyhtya
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Mei Fan and Tani Hoyhtya

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The estranged husband of Miramar woman Mei Fan has appeared in court charged with murder in relation to the the mother-of-two's death.

Wellington police have carried out a five-month investigation into the 37-year-old Chinese migrant's death. They arrested her husband, Michael Edwin Preston, 59, on Wednesday.

The Wellington man appeared before Judge Kevin Glubb in Wellington District Court on Thursday charged with one count of murder with a stabbing or cutting weapon and one count of breaching a protection order.

INSIGHT: The Mei Fan murder case explored

He made no plea and volunteered to be remanded in custody until next month when he will appear in the High Court in Wellington.

Fan died on November 8 last year in her home in Brussels St, Miramar. A friend found her body two days later.

Police said she died from multiple stab wounds and a carving knife was found at the scene.

Judge Kevin Glubb declined media applications to photograph Preston, accepting defence lawyer Louise Sziranyi's submission that identity could be an issue at a possible trial.

Meanwhile, Fan's grieving Vietnam-based partner, Finnish forester Tani Hoyhtya, has revealed he plans to move to New Zealand - where he travelled with Fan and his own children - to take up work later this year.

The United Nations forestry worker had planned to marry Fan and he bought an engagement ring after she died that he has since had reworked into an earring, which he wears every day.

The last time Hoyhtya visited New Zealand was for Fan's funeral.

Speaking from Vietnam this week, he said he was relieved to hear an arrest had been made in relation to her death, and he planned to return for court proceedings in the future.

He said he hoped to move to New Zealand in September, as long as his immigration request was granted. He planned to take up a forestry job offer that will keep him here for at least two years.

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- The Dominion Post

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