Chile prosecutor demands stricter controls of murder suspect

Nicolas Zepeda, suspect in the disappearance and possible murder of a Japanese student in 2016 in the French city of Besancon, leaves Chile's Supreme Court after attending an extradition hearing in Santiago on March 5, 2020

Chile's public prosecutor on Tuesday requested tighter supervision of a 29-year-old man set to be extradited to France to face charges of murdering his Japanese ex-girlfriend.

Nicolas Zepeda, who is accused of murdering Narumi Kurosaki in Besancon, France in December 2016, is currently barred from leaving Chile and must report to authorities once a week.

A public prosecutor document seen by AFP stresses that "stronger measures must urgently be taken ... to effectively ensure the person's surrender."

The prosecutor also asks the Supreme Court, which on Monday upheld Zepeda's extradition, to call a hearing to re-examine the current measures.

Chile agreed last month to extradite Zepeda, who subsequently appealed before the Supreme Court ruled against him.

French authorities have 60 days to come to Chile to take custody of Zepeda -- but any such mission could be complicated by coronavirus lockdown measures, with Chile's borders closed.

Kurosaki, then 21, vanished from her university after eating with Zepeda, who returned to Chile by the time her disappearance was reported days later.

French investigators believe Kurosaki was killed by Zepeda in a jealous rage, but her body was never found, despite extensive searches.

According to investigators, Zepeda went to Besancon at the beginning of December 2016 to see his former girlfriend.

On the evening of December 4, the pair entered her residence together.

French prosecutors say several students heard "howls of terror, cries" that night, but no-one called the police.

Zepeda, the son of a wealthy Chilean family, met Kurosaki in Japan in 2014.

At the time of her disappearance, the pair had broken up and she was in a new relationship.