Guatemalan murder accused's case delayed

2016-05-06 14:17
Gabriela Kabrins Alban. (Picture: Facebook)

Gabriela Kabrins Alban. (Picture: Facebook)

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Cape Town - The appearance of Guatemalan murder-accused Diego Dougherty was delayed on Friday as court rooms were changed, and for a possible application for the media to be allowed to take pictures of him.

He was charged with the murder of 39-year-old Gabriela Kabrins Alban at the Camps Bay Retreat Hotel after her body was found there on July 29 last year.

They were believed to have been sharing a room.

Magistrate Grant Engel said his order prohibiting pictures of the accused being taken still stood and could only be lifted on application by legal representatives of media houses. The order was put in place in August because an identity parade still needed to be carried out at the time.

His lawyer, William Booth, said he had no papers in front of him for the order to be reversed.

Engel said he would allow an application on Friday afternoon by media lawyers if necessary.

The case was also moved from a small airless room in a makeshift Community Court that deals with case backlogs, to a bigger venue in the Iustitia Building, which would accommodate the number of people attending the case.

Dougherty was waiting in holding cells when these issues were aired and was brought in to the court briefly for argument over a possible postponement.

Handcuffs in front were removed before he walked up to the dock.

He wore a blue shirt and Mr Price tracksuit pants and appeared to have lost weight.

The stop-start case was also held up as he needed to be brought across the road and it was not clear if an interpreter was available yet.

He has been charged with murder, a Schedule Five crime, and the case has not reached a point where he will plead yet.

He has already been sent for psychiatric evaluation.

At the time of his arrest, his brother Thomas Dougherty said the family was shocked by the tragedy.

His brother Lucas cleared up confusion over his surname, explaining it is custom in Gautemala to use both parents surnames but for the purposes of the case it was not necessary to include his mother's surname Novella.

Read more on:    gabriela kabrins alban  |  diego dougherty  |  cape town

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