Painkillers at centre of court exchange over Camps Bay murder victim's 'mood swings'

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It took nearly 10 minutes of persistent questioning and two objections for defence attorney William Booth to make his point regarding painkillers taken by Camps Bay murder victim Gabriela Alban.

Cross-examining Doris Weitz‚ Alban’s mother‚ Booth inquired on Wednesday exactly what medicine she was taking. Booth represents Diego Novella‚ the Guatemalan who has pleaded not guilty to murdering Alban at the Camps Bay Retreat Hotel in 2015.

Weitz seemed confused about Booth’s interest in the medicine before explaining that Alban had been on painkillers for a number of ailments‚ including Lyme disease and a broken coccyx. But she denied giving her daughter medicine.

Prosecutor Louise Friester-Sampson objected to the line of questioning‚ saying Booth was trying to establish a basis for Alban’s supposed mood swings.

Weitz denied allegations that medication made her daughter aggressive. “Gaby never‚ never assaulted anyone even when she was healthy‚” Weitz said.

She said Alban’s need for medication began with a back operation that could have activated her Lyme disease. “The disease can lie dormant in the body for years until a shock triggers it‚” Weitz said.

After the painkiller issue had been settled‚ Weitz was allowed to stand down after a week in the witness box. The case will continue on Thursday.

- Times Media reported on Tuesday that Judge Vincent Saldanha did not intervene when Alban’s father‚ Howdy Kabrins‚ addressed Novella during an inspection of the crime scene. Saldanha asked Times Media to make clear that he did not hear the remarks.