'I lied in my testimony' - murder accused Diego Novella drops bombshell
Diego Novella‚ accused of murdering his girlfriend Gabriella Alban at a hotel in Camps Bay‚ dropped a bombshell in the High Court in Cape Town on Monday.
Before the judge even spoke‚ he jumped up and said: "I lied when I gave my testimony."
Even his own counsel‚ William Booth‚ was surprised and stood up to tell Judge Vincent Saldanha‚ "This is the first I am hearing of this. I consulted with him on Saturday and am completely gobsmacked and taken aback."
Judge Saldanha then said the court would adjourn for a few minutes to give Booth a chance to consult with his client.
Before the judge arrived‚ Novella stood in the dock and was hugged by a nephew who had travelled from Guatemala for the proceedings. A police officer immediately intervened and said that an accused in such a court case did not have the right to liaise with others in the dock.
Booth jumped to the defence of his client and said he would check with the judge if it was indeed so that he could not even receive a hug from a relative.
Alban was found dead her in Camps Bay hotel room in Cape Town on July 29‚ 2015. Her Guatemalan boyfriend Novella – who is a wealthy trust funder and does not work – was later found wandering around the hotel in a daze.
Alban‚ 39‚ was found with faeces on her face and a note written in lipstick on a piece of paper‚ which read "cerote" (Spanish for "piece of shit").
Earlier during the trial‚ Howdy Kabrins‚ Gabriella's adoring father‚ told TimesLIVE‚ "She was my baby girl. She will always be my baby girl. I just want to go back in time and protect her. This has torn me in half."