Jury selected in trial for British backpacker killed in New Zealand

WELLINGTON: A New Zealand court selected a jury on Monday at the start of the trial for the murder of a Briton, according to media reports, in a case that shocked the South Pacific nation.

A jury of seven women and five men was selected for the jury that will begin hearing evidence Wednesday at the Superior Court in Auckland , The largest city in New Zealand.

He informed that Judge Simon Moore spoke briefly with the jury, telling them not to be influenced by the intense media coverage that the case has generated.

Anything you have seen or heard outside the courtroom has no place in your deliberations and you must consciously set them aside, he said.

Grace Millane, 22, who was traveling after finishing university, went missing in Auckland in December. Police found her body soon after in bushland just a few meters from a scenic drive in Auckland 's Waitakere Ranges.

A 27-year-old man pleaded not guilty to his murder. His name was suppressed by the court.

The murder shocked New Zealand, where serious crimes were once considered relatively rare and their cities and fields were considered safe. It also sparked intense debate about New Zealand's history of violence against women.

Thousands of people held candlelight vigils after Millane's death in a national torrent of pain. Prime Minister Jacinda Arden held back tears while apologizing to Millane's family on behalf of New Zealand.

The trial is expected to last about five weeks and Millane's family would attend, according to New Zealand media reports.