Christmas in custody for Guatemalan murder accused

2016-11-18 16:34
High court. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

High court. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Cape Town - Guatemalan murder accused Diego Novella will spend Christmas in a Cape Town prison.

Novella, who stands accused of murdering his American girlfriend, will remain in the hospital section of Pollsmoor prison, having previously undergone psychiatric evaluation.

His past attempts at being released on bail have failed as the courts considered him to be a flight risk.

Appearing calm, if a bit weary, he heard in the Western Cape High Court on Friday morning that the matter would be postponed for another pre-trial on February 3.

He held his hands in front of him, nodding his head when the court addressed him in English.

Novella is accused of murdering 39-year-old US marketing executive Gabriela Kabrins Alban at the Camps Bay Retreat boutique hotel in July 2015.

Lawyer's bad reputation

READ: Guatemalan murder accused back in court

Novella and Alban had been a couple at the time of her murder. Alban was strangled and sustained blunt force trauma to the face.

The court previously set down the trial for April 18 to June 9 2017.

However, this could change after Novella's lawyer William Booth indicated on Friday that he might be unavailable for a portion of the time.

"You have a bad reputation for not being in trials because you are too busy," Judge Elize Steyn said with a smile.

Booth again took issue with prosecutor Louise Friester-Sampson stating they had entered discussions with the defence over a possible plea and sentence agreement.

Wealthy family

"The State talks about a plea and sentence agreement. We are only having discussions," he emphasised.

"I have told the State they shouldn't indicate the content of the discussions. It could be prejudicial."

The court heard the defence was corresponding with the Guatemalan ambassador.

"He is an important figure in this matter in that he provides input and the approach in terms of the Guatemalan government. He is in London," said Booth.

Novella is a member of a wealthy Guatemalan family and holds shares in a large cement-producing firm.

News24 previously reported that his girlfriend's father, Howdy Kabrins, said Novella "lured" her to Cape Town with the promise of alternative treatment for Lyme disease.

WATCH this video:

Read more on:    diego novella  |  cape town  |  crime

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
PARTNER CONTENT
INFOGRAPHIC: New thinking required for retirement

Everything we believe about retirement is fast becoming outdated.

/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.