FOUR suspects accused of murdering a man in an East Oxford street have appeared in court.

Michael Yemane, Welid Solomon, Sasan Mohammed Khalid and Safeen Abdullah Karimi stood in the dock at Oxford Crown Court yesterday, charged with the murder of Luciano Dos Santos.

The 22-year-old, from Southampton, was hit by a car and stabbed in Southfield Road, on the night of Wednesday, February 27.

Yemane, aged 20, of South Bridge Row, Oxford, Solomon, aged 25, of Field Avenue, Oxford, Khalid, aged 19, of no fixed abode, and Karimi, aged 27, of Hode Garth, Thame, have all previously pleaded not guilty to murder.

They appeared before Judge Ian Pringle QC yesterday, so their barristers could all gain a 10-day extension on the submission of their respective defence statements ahead of the trial.

Reasons behind the delay were cited as difficulty in gaining prison visits with their clients, and issues in translating key material.

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One barrister said he had been quoted £16,000 to translate interview transcripts, adding: "With an eye on the public budget, I have not been able to say 'just get on with it.'"

The court heard that jurors will likely be taken to the scene before they hear evidence in the trial, and will also be shown some CCTV footage.

A trial date had already been set for Monday, September 2, but the length of trial is now expected to be longer.

At a hearing at the same court in April, the trial was pencilled in for four to six weeks, but it is now expected to last between six and eight weeks.

Two translators were sworn in to assist the defendants at yesterday's hearing - one speaking Kurdish, and another speaking a language spoken in the northeast African country of Eritrea.

Earlier this year, Mr Dos Santos's mother described her son as a 'kind-hearted' and 'cheeky' man who 'loved helping others and always had a smile on his face.'