SANTIAGO: The Supreme Court of Santiago decided Thursday April 2 to hand over to France a Chilean accused of having killed a Japanese student.
French investigators had requested the extradition of Nicolas Zepeda, 28, suspected of having murdered his Japanese ex-girlfriend in the city of Besançon, in eastern France, in 2016.
“The request for passive extradition made by the French Republic concerning the Chilean citizen Nicolas Zepeda is accepted,” said Supreme Court judge Jorge Dahm in a judgment.
Zepeda’s lawyers have five days to appeal the decision.
Narumi Kurosaki, 21, disappeared from his university residence in Besançon, a town near the Alps, after having dinner with Zepeda, her ex-boyfriend.
Zepeda, an educational assistant, returned to Chile when her disappearance was reported several days later.
Investigators are convinced that Kurosaki was killed by Zepeda in jealous rage but his body has never been found despite extensive research.
France has issued an international arrest warrant for Zepeda, but a Chilean judge in February 2017 rejected the request to arrest him, citing insufficient evidence.
Besançon’s prosecutor Etienne Manteaux announced last October that his office had sent an extradition request to the French government, which was to be officially presented to Chile.
The suspect was interrogated on April 18 by a Chilean judge in the presence of French investigators, including Manteaux. Zepeda denies any hand in the disappearance of Kurosaki.
Zepeda, who threatened Kurosaki in an online video he later removed, admits going to his room the night of his death for what he described as consensual sex and said he was gone right after.
The couple met in 2014 in Japan, where Zepeda was a student, and a year later began a relationship that ended after Kurosaki moved to France in August 2016.
In Besançon, Kurosaki entered a new relationship, a development which “clearly exasperated Nicolas Zepeda”, according to Manteaux.
In the days preceding his disappearance, Zepeda flew to France, rented a car and went to Besançon, stopping on the way to buy matches, flammable liquid and water. Bleach in a supermarket.