No special treatment for Guatemalan awaiting mental assessment

2015-09-30 17:38
Gabriela Kabrins Alban. (Picture: Facebook)

Gabriela Kabrins Alban. (Picture: Facebook)

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Cape Town – Murder-accused Guatemalan Diego Novella is still waiting for a bed at a psychiatric hospital so he can undergo a 30-day observation, the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court heard on Wednesday.

Sporting a new haircut, he listened to proceedings and tucked his hands into the pockets of his navy tracksuit.

The 41-year-old heard he would have to remain in the Pollsmoor Prison hospital section until his next appearance in a month's time.

"A bed is not yet available. I have ascertained he is number 83 on the list," State prosecutor Louise Friester-Sampson told the court.

Magistrate Grant Engel previously granted his legal team's request for him to be referred, but said he could not fast-track the matter as all cases were urgent.

The State's case is that Novella assaulted and inflicted fatal injuries on 39-year-old US marketing executive Gabriela Kabrins Alban at the upmarket Camps Bay Retreat in July.

His lawyer, Asghar Mia, on Wednesday argued that the State should hand over post-mortem and forensic reports.

This would not prejudice the State and would help them consult with Novella, Mia said.

Friester-Sampson said their investigation was not complete and that they only had a preliminary forensic report.

Mia’s eyebrows shot up on hearing this.

"I can't understand, it is two months down the line and the report is not ready. Even his clothes at that time [of arrest] were taken by the SA Police Service for DNA analysis or whatever the case may be," he noted.

The prosecutor responded that the defence was not allowed insight into these documents as per a court order.

She said his lawyers were welcome to ask for a review of this decision if they felt "aggrieved".

Read more on:    cape town  |  crime

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