Guatemalan murder accused denied bail

Cape Town - Guatemalan murder accused Diego Dougherty has been denied bail.

Magistrate Grant Engel gave his ruling in the Cape Town Magistrate's Court on Tuesday.

Dougherty is accused of murdering his girlfriend, US marketing consultant Gabriela Kabrins Alban.

During bail proceedings, the State argued Dougherty was a well-off trust fund child who received a monthly allowance of $10 000 and would have no problem of forfeiting his bail to flee.

South Africa does not have an extradition agreement with Guatemala.

Dougherty had dual Guatemalan and Italian nationality and his prominent family lived in Guatemala.

Kabrins Alban was found dead in the couple’s room at the upmarket Camps Bay Retreat Hotel on July 29 last year.

She died due to strangulation and had blunt force trauma to the face.

He faces a minimum of 15 years in jail if convicted.

His lawyer, William Booth, proposed bail conditions of hefty bail, reporting daily to a police station, remaining under house arrest, possible electronic monitoring by correctional services, and being placed under supervision by a security company.

But prosecutor Louise Friester-Sampson countered that it would be “ludicrous” to think this would stop him from finding a way to exit the country.

Kabrins Alban's family in an interview on Sunday told News24 they believed he would flee should he be released.

“He and his family are worth millions. They are powerful people. The minute he is released, he will be gone,” cousin Laura Baril said.

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