Cockle Bay blaze: Two murder accused denied bail as they appear in court

Two men charged with murder after Wiremu Arapo died in an east Auckland fire have appeared in court.

The men from Papatoetoe and Mangere were jointly charged with murder after the October 20 fire in Cockle Bay near Howick.

Both men are 32 years old and appeared in Manukau District Court.

Arapo, 27, was found dead near a doorway of the fire-ravaged house. Two other residents were injured in the October fire on Minerva Terrace and hospitalised.

On Wednesday afternoon, both men charged with murder appeared before Judge Antony Mahon and were granted interim name suppression.

The first man who appeared pleaded not guilty shortly before 4pm and was denied bail.

The second man did not enter a plea but was also denied bail and remanded in custody.

Barristers Shane Tait and Jonathan Hudson represented the two accused men, who will reappear in the High Court at Auckland on Wednesday January 27.

Arapo set up a fitness business in his garage during the national Covid-19 lockdown earlier this year.

Earlier this week, police said nobody else was wanted in connection with this investigation.

But police were still asking members of the public to submit footage leading up to, and during, the fire, to an online portal at https://bancroft.nzpolice.org/


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