Man denies murdering Cape gem dealer

2013-07-24 09:44

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Cape Town - A Cape Town man accused of murdering a diamond dealer claims he acted in self-defence, the Cape Argus reported on Wednesday.

Dudley Bernicchi reportedly testified in the Cape Town Regional Court on Tuesday, after pleading not guilty to murdering Ryan Ivaniservic in November 2011.

According to the newspaper, Bernicchi, a master diamond cutter, told the court he and Ivaniservic had a heated argument about money and diamonds owed to him at Bernicchi's office in the city centre, shortly before the shooting.

He reportedly testified that he knew Ivaniservic always carried a firearm, and that when Ivaniservic reached down during the argument, he fired at him before he was shot.

"I cannot remember pulling the trigger. The last action he did was pull back his chair and stand up," Bernicchi was quoted as telling the court.

"I have some recollection and some things are vague... I was in shock, Ryan was my friend."

Closing arguments are expected on 28 August.

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