The partner of Auckland woman Cissy Chen has had his trial for her murder deferred until either February or May next year.
Yun Qing Liu, 57, known as Jack, appeared in the High Court at Auckland today, assisted by a Mandarin interpreter.
Liu was due to stand trial for Chen's murder in October but indications that the trial would take longer than the originally-projected four weeks have meant it needed to be shifted to next year.
Justice Graham Lang said at least a six-week window needed to be allocated as there was a large amount of forensic evidence and Liu and many of the witnesses would have to have the proceedings translated, which also slowed things down.
The judge set a trial date for May 4 but said if a space became available in February, the trial could go ahead then.
Chen, a 44-year-old accountant, disappeared on November 5, 2012, after leaving the Torbay home she shared with Liu.
Liu reported her missing about 9.30pm that night and told police she had not returned from a regular walk along Long Bay Beach.
Extensive searches found no sign of Chen until her bones were found in a creek on Auckland's North Shore in March, a year and a half after her disappearance.