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NPA accused of infringing on Novella's right to a speedy trial

Diego Novella’s lawyer has accused the state of dragging its feet in his murder trial.

Gabriela Kabrins' family leaving Cape Town's Magistrate's court
NPA,Diego Novella,William Booth
Local

CAPE TOWN - A lawyer for a Guatemalan man accused of killing his girlfriend while on holiday in Cape Town has accused the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) of infringing on his client's right to a fair trial.

Diego Novella is alleged to have killed his American girlfriend Gabriela Alban at a Camps Bay hotel last year.

He appeared in the Cape Town Magistrate's Court yesterday for the first time since being admitted to Valkenberg Hospital for mental observation.

Novella's lawyer William Booth stressed it's important for the defence to have all information available to prepare for trial.

He says the state has been investigating since his client's arrest seven months ago.

“That has to be completed now. You can’t go on and on. The constitution says it, the Criminal Procedure Act says it, every accused is entitled to a speedy trial. Is it happening here? I have my concerns.”

But prosecutor Louise Friester-Sampson has blamed Booth for the delays, saying he's asked for a number of postponements.

She's also argued providing the defence with all the evidence would compromise the state's case.

 

 

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