A man charged in relation to the death of a motorcyclist at Whakatane last year has appeared in Gisborne District Court.

The Te Kaha man was granted interim name suppression when he appeared in front of a JP yesterday on a charge of being an accessory to murder by suppressing evidence to enable the murder accused to avoid conviction.

He was further remanded in custody today and will reappear in the Tauranga District Court on June 7 before the case is moved to the High Court in Rotorua.

The man will also appear in the Whakatane District Court on June 14 charged with injuring with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, assault with a weapon, possession of cannabis and possession for supply.

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Police launched a homicide inquiry after the death of Whakatane man Don Henry Turei jnr in November last year.

Turei, 38, and his brother, were riding their motorcycles on State Highway 35 near Te Kaha to a wedding reception after a ceremony at Raukokore Church.

It was thought Turei crashed after an alleged hit-and-run.

Police inquiries centred on a white Honda Odyssey-type van, which was seen leaving the crash scene and was later found burned-out near the Raukokore River.