Guatemalan family speak out on Camps Bay murder

2015-08-09 12:13
Jail bars. (File photo, AP)

Jail bars. (File photo, AP)

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Cape Town - Family members of a Guatemalan man accused of killing his girlfriend in Camps Bay say that he distanced himself from them about a year ago.

Diego Dougherty Novella, 41, appeared in the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court on Friday on charges of killing American marketing executive Gabriela Kabrins Alban.

His brother Thomas Dougherty, who is president of Guatemala’s largest cement company, Cementos Progreso, said in a statement at the weekend that they did not have sufficient details of the case to form an opinion, beyond the “confused” information in some media.


“Never before has something like this happened in our family and our goal is to get closer to understanding the situation and to make sure that Diego is subjected to [a] fair legal process.

“The news is terrible, we are shocked and deeply regret [it] because it is a tragedy for both families.”

The family said they were very sorry and sympathised with the 39-year-old victim’s family and friends.

“Our prayers are with them.”

Alban was reportedly sexually assaulted and strangled.

The Guatemalan has appointed renowned defence lawyer William Booth.

Booth helped secured him a spot in the hospital section of Pollsmoor Prison after convincing the court that his client was at risk of being assaulted or killed in "atrocious" prison cells that hold around 40 inmates.

Bail application

He would appear in court again on Friday for preliminary aspects and was set to apply for bail on August 21, although this date was provisional.

It emerged during court proceedings that he had both Guatemalan and Italian passports.

Magistrate Grant Engel ordered that no one could take or publish photographs of the accused because of the possibility of the ID parade.

Media houses are expected to make a formal legal application at a later stage to take photos, videos and audio recordings.

Read more on:    cape town  |  crime
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