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Suspec told police Alban was dead: State

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The State believes Guatemalan Diego Dougherty Novella assaulted and inflicted fatal injuries on an American businesswoman he was apparently sharing a hotel room with in Camps Bay.

It also alleged that when police officers asked him last month where 39-year-old marketing executive Gabriela Kabrins Alban was, Novella told them she was dead.

This apparently led them to the room they were believed to be sharing at the upmarket Camps Bay Retreat between July 29 and 30.

The State had shared these details with Novella’s lawyer William Booth, but he deemed them insufficient to prepare for a possible bail application.

Booth had wanted at the very least a brief synopsis of witness statements, a provisional post-mortem report and an interim forensic report.

On Tuesday, the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court turned down his application for more information.

Acting Magistrate Grant Engel ruled that Booth had been given adequate detail and that the State had the exclusive discretion to decide what to hand over in preparation of a bail application.

Some of the State’s case emerged as Engel read out past correspondence between the parties.

An interpreter communicated this to the accused in the dock.

Wearing a grey and blue tracksuit, an unshaven Novella kept his hands in his pocket and nodded to show his understanding. He later rested his arms on the wooden ledge in front of him and gazed downwards.

He was charged with murder, listed as a schedule five offence, but further charges could be added in the course of the investigation.

“The State indicates that its case is circumstantial at this stage,” Engel said.

“There is of course nothing barring the defence from arguing that the State has a weak case against the accused.” News24


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