The family of 39-year-old American marketing executive Gabriela Kabrins Alban arrived at the Western Cape High Court on Monday, determined to see justice in the case against Guatemalan murder accused Diego Novella.
The woman’s mother and stepfather, Doris Weitz and Alexander Williams, arrived from the US last week ahead of the first day of the trial against Novella.
Alban’s father, Howdy Kabrins and his wife Linda, also flew into Cape Town last week.
Howdy Kabrins is expected to be the first witness to take the stand on Monday.
Novella, who is from a prominent Guatemalan family who run a successful cement business, was denied bail in the Cape Town Regional Court in May last year.
He allegedly murdered his girlfriend at a five-star boutique hotel in Camps Bay, where they had been on holiday, on July 29 last year. Alban was strangled and sustained blunt force trauma to the face.
Novella allegedly had hallucinations induced by drugs on the night of the murder‚ according to a report submitted to court by a panel of psychiatrists who assessed him at Valkenberg Psychiatric Hospital.
Defence lawyer William Booth is expected to argue diminished capacity.
The case could not immediately get underway on Monday, as Booth was involved in another matter.
Novella was initially brought up to court where Alban’s family members stared him down, but he was subsequently led back to holding cells as it became apparent that proceedings would not start on time.
– African News Agency (ANA)