VANCOUVER - It's been eight long years, but the family of a Chinese student who was murdered in Canada may finally get some justice.

The body of Amanda Zhao, 21, was found stuffed in a suitcase in Stave Lake, B.C., in October 2002.

Her boyfriend, Ang Li, fled to China before the RCMP laid charges against him for her death.

New Democrat MLA Jenny Kwan, who has remained in touch with Zhao's family in China, said Thursday that the matter has now been referred to a court in Beijing.

No date has been set but the hearings will be open to the public.

"That is important, of course, as the issue of a fair trial surfaces from time to time," she said. "And given that it's subject to public scrutiny, I think that also gives us assurances that hopefully, the case will proceed and fair practice will be followed."

Li was arrested by Chinese police and has since changed his name to Jia-ming Li, Kwan said.

His cousin, Han Zhang, was also arrested and is accused of being an accomplice in Zhao's murder.

Kwan was critical of RCMP, who she said did not seem to assist Zhao's family before they came to Canada in 2008 to demand answers from officials and issue a public plea for help in the case.

"There was little, if any contact, from police officers with the family to inform them of the situation," she said. "It was quite appalling."

The matter was also mired in jurisdictional issues between the provincial and federal government and the fact that there's no extradition treaty between Canada and China.

Last October, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said the RCMP was co-operating with Chinese authorities and the federal government was committed to seeing justice done.

Mounties have twice travelled to China to deal with officials there about the case.

Zhao was an only child whose family went into debt to finance her education in Canada, Kwan said.

"With her murder all of their hopes and dreams were destroyed."