5 Dec 2014

Accused describes mother-in-law's death

12:55 pm on 5 December 2014

A man accused of organising a cocaine smuggling operation which resulted in his mother-in-law's death has described the final hours of her life to an Auckland court.

Peter Leaitua.

Peter Leaitua. Photo: FACEBOOK

Peter Leaitua has pleaded not guilty to importing $200,000 worth of the drug inside Sorlinda Aristizabal Vega's stomach in September 2011.

Mr Leaitua was visibly upset and had to pause several times as he told the court how his mother-in-law had started to convulse and froth at the mouth shortly after arriving in New Zealand from Buenos Aires.

He said he rushed Ms Vega to Auckland hospital where she later died from an overdose after several packets of cocaine burst inside her.

Mr Leaitua is continuing to give evidence this afternoon when the Crown begins its cross examination.