Gail Papli murder accused gets bail

2008-02-26 00:00

A 25-year-old man, Nivesh Doodla of Raisethorpe, who is charged with the murder of masters student Gail Papli, with whom he reportedly had a relationship and who was found stabbed to death in Newholmes earlier this month, was yesterday granted bail of R5 000 by Pietermaritzburg magistrate Paul van Dongen.

A condition of bail is that Doodla may not contact a state witness referred to during the bail hearing, described as a friend of Papli.

The court heard that there are no eye witnesses to the murder.

The case has been postponed until March 19 for further investigation. The state had opposed the granting of bail to Doodla on grounds that he might abscond, that he suffers from suicidal tendencies and concern that he might interfere with state witnesses.

The defence, however, presented the court with a report by a clinical psychologist Neville Hodgson, which was accepted by the state, in which Hodgson said in his opinion the risk of Doodla committing suicide is “minimal”.

Hodgson stated that Doodla had said he met his girlfriend about a year ago and that their relationship became closer over the past three months.

“He reported that he was extremely shocked and sad at her death and that on the spur of the moment he contemplated suicide. Before harming himself, he phoned his father who then contacted the police, who later discovered Doodla sitting in his car.

“He said that at that time he felt helpless, but over the past week has realised that he has a supportive family and work colleagues, and a future that is worth living for.”

Doodla’s advocate, Martin Krog, submitted that there are no grounds to fear Doodla would abscond, as he comes from a good, supportive family, has a good job, has lived in Pietermaritzburg all his life and has no passport.

Police reported to the media at the time of the murder that Gail Papli’s body was found in an outbuilding in the early hours of February 10 after her boyfriend’s father allegedly received a call about the stabbing.

Her boyfriend was found seated in his car nearby.

Papli was a student at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, studying towards a Masters of Science in Microbiology.

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