Mental health report out soon for Camps Bay murder accused

2016-03-04 17:10
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Cape Town- A report detailing the mental health status of murder accused Diego Novella will be ready within two weeks, the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court heard on Friday.

“He has, for all intents and purposes, been assessed at Valkenberg mental health hospital,” his lawyer William Booth said.

He added that the appointed psychiatric panel also interviewed Novella’s sister Cecilia and nephew Javier this week.

The family flew in from Guatemala. Javier stood against a wall in the tiny court and listened, sometimes making eye contact with his uncle.

The State alleges 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 last year.

After a lengthy wait for a bed to open, Novella was admitted to Valkenberg in January for 30 days of observation.

A panel was tasked with examining the 41-year-old’s state of mind at the time of the alleged offence and at present.

Without giving much away, Booth said “provisionally, there may be concerns of mental health”.

Novella looked slimmer than usual in the dock. Every now and then he stroked his beard.

Guatemalan ambassador Acisclo Valladares Molina attended proceedings.

Read more on:    cape town  |  crime

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