A blood-splattered police cell, with a heart shape containing the word "girlfriend" smeared on a wall, was described in pre-trial evidence heard today in the Auckland High Court in the lead-up to the trial of Hungarian tourist Ferdinand Ambach. Ron Brown Ambach is accused of murdering elderly gay Onehunga man Ronald Brown in December 2007. During a long day of debate between crown lawyers and defence counsel, most attention has focused on the police interview of Ambach on Saturday December 6th, the morning after the overnight assault which left Brown critically injured and on life support. Brown died the following Monday. When Ambach was woken by Detective Constable Simon Matheson for the almost four hour formal interview, the accused man is said to have been initially shocked at the state of his cell, which was described as "covered in blood." However, it was claimed in court that Ambach saw that his own hand was cut - he had received hospital treatment before being placed in a cell - and then acknowledged that he had smeared the blood around. It was not made clear today whether the word "girlfriend" was in English or Hungarian. Throughout today's Pre-Trial Applications the defence has questioned Matheson as to whether Ambach was tired during the interview, whether he clearly understood the severity of the charges he faced and if he had been advised of his right to remain silent. During the interview Ambach had declined an offer of legal assistance. Matheson says Ambach was alert throughout the videoed interview, although a transcript indicates he said several times that he was tired and wanted a rest. Throughout his appearance at today's hearing Ambach remained calm, listening to his translator and nodding. He has relied extensively on his court-supplied translators, but has some command of English. Due to lack of clarity in parts of the transcripts of the police station interview, Hon. Justice Stevens has asked all parties to reconvene tomorrow morning when parts of the DVD recording of the interview will be played. A date has yet to be set for Ambach's trial.
Credit: GayNZ.com Daily News Staff
First published: Monday, 16th February 2009 - 6:02pm
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