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Zijad Garibovic appeared before Judge Grant Fraser at the Auckland District Court earlier today with the assistance of a Croatian interpreter.
Lawyer John Anderson asked for name suppression for his client, saying Garibovic's children in Australia had not been told.
Judge Fraser understood two children in New Zealand had been told of the murder charge and found it hard to believe they would not have informed their three siblings in Australia.
Garibovic was remanded to the Mason Clinic until appearing in the High Court on April 23 where a report will be heard as to whether he is fit to stand trial.
Roy Eric Lowe died after an attack about 11.45pm on Friday at Merton Village, St Johns - a cluster of Housing New Zealand units for pensioners.