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Brown murder accused pleads not guilty

Fri 11 Jul 2008 In: New Zealand Daily News View at NDHA

12.50PM: Ferdinand Ambach, the Hungarian tourist charged with murdering elderly gay Aucklander Ron Brown, has just pleaded not guilty to charges of murder, assault and intentional damage. Ronald Brown However, lawyers for the prosecution and defense have both agreed that there is a prima facie case to answer and the case will therefore go to trial. In a practically empty courtroom, two JPs this morning oversaw the process of translation of final witness statements for Ambach. Asked how he wished to plead to the three charges, Ambach answered clearly in english, "Not guilty." Family and friends of Brown, who had packed the small courtroom for the start of the depositions hearing on Wednesday, were not present today to hear the plea. Police, alerted by neighbours who heard screaming and shattering glass, found Ambach upstairs in an agitated state in Brown's Onehunga home in the early hours of Saturday December 8. Brown was slumped unconscious and badly injured downstairs, his home had been trashed and household effects including a bed had been thrown through upstairs windows. Ambach claims he was affected by alcohol, that Brown made a pass at him and that he has only a vague recollection of events following that. Brown, who had met Ambach in a neighbourhood bar earlier in the evening, died in hospital the following Monday evening when his life support was turned off. Ambach was remanded in custody, to reappear in court on August 13th. He thanked his interpreter and was led out of court by a police officer.    

Credit: News Staff

First published: Friday, 11th July 2008 - 12:55pm

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