The health of man who has spent a decade trying to avoid extradition to China, where he would stand trial for murder, has deteriorated severely according to his lawyer.
Dr Tony Ellis says Kyung Yup Kim, who is accused of murdering a sex-worker in Shanghai, has become suicidal, severely depressed, suffers from kidney and liver diseases and has developed a small brain tumour.
Kim denies any involvement in the 2009 killing and has been fighting the extradition on the grounds that he won't get a fair trial in China.
The Supreme Court will convene on Friday in what Ellis hopes will be the conclusion of a decade long battle for his client.
When China initially sought to extradite Kim in 2011, assurances were made that he would not be subject to the death penalty if found guilty.
Last year the Supreme Court wanted more assurances but Ellis says lawyers for Kim and Justice Minister Kris Faafoi "are at odds as to the meaning of the new information".
The hearing this week is expected to focus on whether the further inquiries and assurances that have been made are adequate and whether any changed circumstances mean Faafoi should reconsider Kim's case.
Ellis says Faafoi was made aware of Kim's deteriorating health in December last year, and was asked to change the extradition decision.
In response Faafoi said he considered it appropriate to await the outcome of Friday's hearing.
Ellis said Faafoi sought leave to appeal the decision of the Court of Appeal on 9 July 2019.
In the 2.5 years since that time he says Kim's health has worsened.
"Given Mr Kim's current health, the delay in determining the new request not to extradite, independent of the Supreme Court hearing is considered inhumane," he says.
If the final outcome in Kim's case is unfavourable, he will seek interim relief from the UN Human Rights Committee to not extradite pending hearing of a substantive case before the Committee, Ellis says.
WHERE TO GET HELP:
If you are worried about your or someone else's mental health, the best place to get help is your GP or local mental health provider. However, if you or someone else is in danger or endangering others, call police immediately on 111.
• LIFELINE: 0800 543 354 or 09 5222 999 within Auckland (available 24/7)
• SUICIDE CRISIS HELPLINE: 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO) (available 24/7)
• YOUTHLINE: 0800 376 633 ,free text 234 or email email@example.com or online chat.
• NEED TO TALK? Free call or text 1737 (available 24/7)
• KIDSLINE: 0800 543 754 (available 24/7)
• WHATSUP: 0800 942 8787 (1pm to 11pm)
• DEPRESSION HELPLINE: 0800 111 757
• SAMARITANS – 0800 726 666.