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mother pleads not guilty to murder

(CNN) — The mother of two children whose bodies were found in suitcases in New Zealand earlier this year has pleaded not guilty to the alleged murders of the children, her lawyer told CNN on Wednesday.

Lawyer Christopher Wilkinson-Smith said he entered the two pleas of not guilty on behalf of his client, who did not attend the hearing at Auckland High Court.

The 42-year-old woman remains in detention after being extradited from South Korea to New Zealand. Her trial is expected to begin in April 2024.

The woman was arrested in September in the city of Ulsan, South Korea, weeks after the children’s remains were discovered in suitcases bought by a family at an online auction in south Auckland.

The court has ordered that the identity of the woman and the victims not be made public.

Police had previously said the boys were likely between 5 and 10 years old and may have been dead for around three to four years.

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