Man accused in American Gabriela Kabrins death back in court

African News Agency (ANA)

Gabriela Kabrins Alban

Murder accused Guatemalan, Diego Novella, is expected to appear in the Western Cape High Court on Friday for a pre-trial conference.

Novella has been charged with the murder of his 39-year-old girlfriend, American marketing executive Gabriela Kabrins Alban.

On July 20, the case was transferred to the high court. At the time, prosecutor Louise Friester-Sampson said that a “portion of the investigation has not yet been finalised”.

She said two iPhones had been sent from the FBI to Israel for decryption there, but as soon as that investigation was finalised it would be handed over to the defence.

William Booth, for Novella, placed on record that the accused had not used an “intentionally obstructive tactic” when he initially failed to hand over the pin codes for his phones. Novella had apparently forgotten the codes, but just before the phones were sent to Israel the defence handed them over — by then they had already been locked.

According to the State, Novella assaulted and killed Alban in the hotel room they were sharing at the Camps Bay Retreat, in July last year.

The defence has indicated that they will argue diminished capacity due to drug intoxication.

The 43-year-old comes from one of Guatemala’s richest and most prominent families. He has remained in the hospital section of Pollsmoor prison. At the time, Booth told African News Agency (ANA) this was because of his “mental state” and that he was being visited by a psychiatrist on a regular basis.

Novella’s lone supporter from his billionaire family was his brother, Lucas, who has attended all of his court appearances.

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