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Murder-accused Guatemalan 'isn't a violent person' - lawyer

27 May, 05:31 PM

Diego Novella Dougherty's lawyer William Booth says his client is not a violent person, and should have been granted bail.

The Guatamalan-born Dougherty stands accused of the brutal murder of Gabriela Kabrins Alban, who was found dead in a five-star Camps Bay hotel suite last year. 

Dougherty and Alban were dating at the time of the American marketing executive's murder. According to her father, Howdy Kabrins, she was "lured" to Cape Town by Dougherty in order to receive alternative treatment for Lyme disease. 

On Tuesday, Magistrate Grant Engel denied Dougherty bail saying he was a serious flight risk.

The 40-something accused is a member of a wealthy Guatemalan family and holds shares in a large cement-producing firm. 

Details of his wealth and lifestyle, which included substance abuse, emerged during the bail hearing but Dougherty's lawyer Booth argues his social standing and dual citizenship should have been no hindrance to winning bail.

After Dougherty's arrest in 2015 his uncle expressed shock and described his nephew as a "sweet" man.

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