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The extradition of a Chilean suspect to France over the alleged murder of a Japanese woman, who went missing while studying in France in December 2016, is expected to be postponed.

French authorities have informed Chilean representatives that the extradition of Nicolas Zepeda Contreras, the suspect in the murder case, will be postponed, according to sources with knowledge of the matter. Initially, France had planned to dispatch officials to Chile on July 7 and extradite the suspect on July 9.

Zepeda returned to Chile shortly after the woman, Narumi Kurosaki, a student at the University of Tsukuba in Ibaraki Prefecture, disappeared in Besancon in eastern France, where she had been studying.

The 29-year-old suspect, who now lives in the Chilean capital of Santiago, is on the international wanted list on suspicion of killing the Japanese woman, who was his former girlfriend.

Meanwhile, Chile’s top court plans to discuss Friday whether to grant a request by prosecutors for house arrest of the suspect.

Currently, he is effectively free. An isolation of over two weeks is needed for his extradition to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus.

If the house arrest is approved, French representatives are expected to arrange another date for the dispatch of officials.

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