Arthur Simpson-Kent

EastEnders murder suspect remanded in custody

A suspect in the murder of a British EastEnders actress found dead in London is remanded in custody in Accra with his lawyer saying he will argue for his release.

ACCRA, GHANA (JANUARY 12, 2016) (REUTERS) – The partner of a British actress who was found dead in the garden of her London home last week along with those of their two young sons appeared before district court judge in Accra, Ghana, on Tuesday (January 12).

Police arrested suspect Arthur Simpson-Kent in western Ghana on Saturday (January 9) after a manhunt.

He is wanted in connection with the murder of Sian Blake, a former actress in the popular soap opera EastEnders, and the two boys, Zachary and Amon. The family had been reported missing in mid-December.

Simpson-Kent was arrested with the assistance of local communities and their chiefs near the town of Butre in the Western region of Ghana, where he was hiding and armed with a knife, Prosper Agblor, head of the country’s Criminal Investigations Department has said. After fleeing London, Simpson-Kent travelled to Glasgow in Scotland before flying to Accra via Amsterdam on Dec. 19.

Although police determined he arrived in Ghana on Dec. 19, he had entered Dec. 7 on his disembarkation form as his date of arrival, but police could not say whether or not the discrepancy in the date was deliberate.

The judge said Simpson-Kent would be remanded in custody until Jan. 26 ahead of the extradition hearing.

Outside the court, his lawyer, Justice K. Srem-Sai, said he police did not follow the correct procedures when they arrested his client.

“We believe that the procedures that are provided under law in this country, when it comes to matters of arrest for extradition, were not followed. For which reason Arthur must be released. But as you heard the judge say, this argument will be properly taken on January 26 when we’ll return to court,” Srem-Sai said.

British newspaper, The Guardian reported on Tuesday that Ghana’s justice minister, Marietta Brew Appiah-Oppong, said on Monday (January 11) a formal extradition request had yet to be received from the UK.

The Metropolitan police in London said they had no further update on the progress of the extradition request.