A teenager accused of killing a man at an Auckland bus station is fighting to keep his name under wraps until his trial.
The 16-year-old earlier pleaded not guilty to the murder of Epapara Poutapu and will stand trial in November next year.
Poutapu, aged 24, died of his injuries after he was stabbed in front of stunned commuters at an Albany bus station around 12.50pm on September 18.
On Thursday afternoon, the teenager appeared via audio-visual link from a youth justice facility at an Auckland High Court hearing, where his lawyer Barbara Hunt argued for his interim name suppression to continue until trial.
Hunt told Justice Christine Gordon she was seeking ongoing suppression because of his age and vulnerability, plus the risk of harm she argued would arise were his name to be released.
He would be at risk of both self-harm and harm from others in his youth justice unit were his name to be circulated in connection with the allegations, Hunt said.
Auckland Crown solicitor Alysha McClintock said the Crown was neutral on the application.
Justice Gordon reserved her decision.
Epapara Poutapu died after he was attacked at an Albany bus station on September 18. Photos / Dean Purcell and NZ Police
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After the attack, the Albany Park and Ride bus shelter was closed for more than a day as forensic investigators examined blood smears that could be seen on a glass shelter panel and on a nearby pedestrian crossing.
Poutapu was a 501 deportee who had been expelled from Australia on bad character grounds last year after having moved there with his family when he was just 1 year old, his father previously told Stuff.
“He should never have been in New Zealand,” the father said, describing his son as someone who had struggled with mental health. “He would have been better here with us.”
Poutapu was described as the second-eldest in a family of 13 in a GoFundMe post seeking to raise money for his family so they could travel to New Zealand after the tragedy.
“His whānau are situated in Brisbane, Australia and are all mourning the loss of their son, brother, uncle and nephew, [but] are unable to be with him,” a family member wrote.
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