1 Jul 2014

Court told woman after easy money

5:43 pm on 1 July 2014

A woman says her Colombian mother was after easy money when she swallowed 24 packets of cocaine before arriving in New Zealand.

Peter Leaitua.

Peter Leaitua. Photo: FACEBOOK

Michel Aristizabal was giving evidence at the High Court in Auckland on Tuesday where her partner, Peter Phillip Leaitua, denies a charge of importing cocaine into New Zealand in September 2011.

Sorlinda Aristizabal Vega died the day after arriving in Auckland after several of the packets of cocaine burst inside her.

Michel Aristizabal said she always told her mother never to do anything wrong and never paid attention to her mother's talk.

She also described her mother as living a dream that would never come true.

Ms Aristizabal wept as she told court that the day after arriving in Auckland from Buenos Aires, she woke in the hotel to hearing her mother yelling for Mr Leaitua.

She said she helped Mr Leaitua drag her mother down the stairs from their level two motel room to the car and Mr Leaitua drove her to Auckland Hospital.

She said she didn't know her mother was bringing drugs into New Zealand.

On Wednesday, the jury is due to hear closing arguments from lawyers for the Crown and defence.