Sen­tence ‘un­jus­ti­fied’, says fam­ily

Cape Argus - - METRO - ZODIDI DANO zodidi.dano@inl.co.za

THE fam­ily of Diego Novella, the Gu­atemalan sen­tenced to 20 years in prison with­out pa­role for the mur­der of his Amer­i­can girl­friend Gabriela Kabrins Al­ban, said the pun­ish­ment was “un­rea­son­able”.

Al­ban was found dead at a Camps Bay ho­tel on July 29, 2015, while the cou­ple were on hol­i­day.

She had a hair iron be­tween her legs, close to her pri­vate parts, and fae­ces on her body and a piece of pa­per on which was writ­ten “piece of s**t” on her chest.

Novella was sen­tenced last week by the Western Cape High Court fol­low­ing his con­vic­tion in June.

His fam­ily is­sued a state­ment in re­sponse to the court out­comes.

They said they were cop­ing with the sen­tence handed down by Judge Vin­cent Sal­danha. They said the trial had been long and ar­du­ous.

“As a fam­ily, we are still com­ing to terms with this tragedy and out­come. Diego has suf­fered im­mensely for his mis­takes and con­tin­ues to cope with Gaby’s loss.

“How­ever, it is un­rea­son­able that Diego be given a sen­tence of 20 years given his lack of vi­o­lent/crim­i­nal past and his in­tox­i­ca­tion, and Gaby’s, at the time of the of­fence.

“We ex­pect the court to take this and other facts into con­sid­er­a­tion dur­ing the de­fence’s ap­peal process.

“Our thoughts are with Gabriela’s fam­ily dur­ing this difficult time.

“We know in our hearts he will do good, and use this story as a cau­tion­ary tale for all those cou­ples, like Gaby and Diego, in­volved in toxic re­la­tion­ships and suf­fer­ing from sub­stance abuse.”

In his sen­tenc­ing Judge Sal­danha said Novella did not show re­morse or take sole re­spon­si­bil­ity for the crime.

He said Novella did not ex­press

an apol­ogy to the Al­bans fam­ily.

“He por­trayed him­self as a vic­tim, blamed his con­duct as a re­sult of drug con­sump­tion, re­fer­ring to it as ‘our mis­take’. Seek­ing to blame por­tion of it to the de­ceased as if she died at her own hands,” he said.

Al­ban’s mother, Doris Weitz, said she hoped Novella would be sen­tenced to life.

CINDY WAXA African News Agency (ANA)

DIEGO Novella has been sen­tenced to 20 years in prison for the mur­der of his girl­friend Gabriella Kabrins Al­ban. Novella’s fam­ily have called the sen­tence un­rea­son­able. |

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