Susan Dale Austen, 66, appeared in the Wellington District Court this morning to enter not guilty pleas to the charge of assisting suicide, as well as a charge of importing the drug pentobarbitone, commonly used for euthanasia.
She has elected a trial by jury.
The former charge, which carries a maximum sentence of 14 years imprisonment, says Austen aided another woman to commit suicide sometime between December 21, 2015 and June 7, 2016.
Austen, a teacher, is a member of Exit Wellington, a pro-euthanasia group.
Family First has commented on the case.
“The police are absolutely correct to be investigating, shutting down and prosecuting the promotion of suicide in New Zealand,” said director Bob McCoskrie.
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