Borce Ristevski has been charged with his wife Karen’s murder. Picture: Channel 7
Borce Ristevski has been charged with his wife Karen’s murder. Picture: Channel 7

Borce Ristevski: Evidence the cops want hidden

POLICE are today expected to argue evidence in the case against accused wife killer Borce Ristevski should be kept secret.

Astrid Haban-Beer, counsel for the Office of the Chief Commissioner of Police, has applied to the Melbourne Magistrates' Court for a suppression order preventing the media publishing details from a key witness in the case.

Ms Haban-Beer is arguing the evidence from an Optus technician before the court could be harmful to police operations if made public because it reveals critical details about police methodology.

"We say the information is so highly confidential it shouldn't be disclosed to anyone but the court," Ms Haban-Beer said last week.

A number of media outlets are fighting the order.

Mr Ristevski, 54, is accused of murdering Karen Ristevski, 47, at the pair's home in Melbourne's north on the morning of June 29, 2016.

Police allege he killed his wife after an argument at Avondale Heights before driving the victim's car to bushland at Mount Macedon and dumping her body.

Ms Ristevski's decomposed body was found shoeless between two logs eight months later.

Mr Ristevski is facing one more week of witness evidence before Magistrate Suzanne Cameron decides whether he should go to trial over the alleged murder of his wife.

Last week, the court heard from witnesses including CCTV specialists, pathologists, detectives and family members.

Mr Ristevski's daughter Sarah, 22, made a teary appearance in the witness box where she talked at length about her mother and father's relationship.

Under cross-examination by Mr Ristevski's defence lawyer David Hallowes, Ms Ristevski told the court her parents fought every few weeks but her father was "the calming influence" and "never demonstrative".

"Dad was a calming influence. Mum would get annoyed quickly. Dad was always the calm one, calming her down."

Asked if the family was a tight unit, Ms Ristevski said they were "very, very close".

Ms Ristevski became visibly upset when recalling an example of a typical fight between her parents.

 

Karen Ristevski with her husband Borce Ristevski and daughter Sarah. Picture: Supplied
Karen Ristevski with her husband Borce Ristevski and daughter Sarah. Picture: Supplied

 

The court heard how Mr Ristevski went Uber driving before having dinner with his parents on the day his wife went missing. He did not tell his parents Ms Ristevski had not returned home from a walk to "clear her head" and he did not ask his daughter if she had seen her mother.

But Sarah said Mr Ristevski was "extremely distressed" in the days after his wife walked off.

"People who know him, knew he was distressed. He was very concerned about where my mum was."

She told the court on Tuesday that her mother often left the house after arguing with Mr Ristevski.

"It was one of her sayings. She liked to be alone," she said.

The case against Mr Ristevski was presented in a summary on Monday by lead prosecutor Matt Fisher, who said the couple's boutique fashion store Bella Bleu had been losing money for years.

Bella Bleu had lost more than $320,000 over four years and the Ristevskis also had several loans and a credit card debt of more than $80,000.

"Sales coming in did not cover their expenses," Mr Fisher said. "It is alleged the financial predicament was very serious."

The alleged murder occurred between 8.58am and 10.43am on a Wednesday morning after the couple's then 21-year-old daughter Sarah had left home for work.

Mr Ristevski told police his wife left the house on foot to clear her mind and never returned but detectives noticed "inconsistencies" in his statements.

Mr Fisher said it's part of a story Mr Ristevski told police that included "numerous discrepancies" and made it difficult for them to "rule him out as a suspect" in the disappearance of his wife.

On Friday, the court heard details of a police interview with Mr Ristevski before he was charged with his wife's murder.

A detective asked him: "Is there something you want to tell me?" He told Mr Ristevski: "Good people make mistakes."

A computer systems and digital imagery expert gave evidence last week that CCTV footage showed a vehicle resembling Ms Ristevski's being driven at Diggers Rest, in the direction of Mount Macedon, on the day Ms Ristevski went missing.

Dr Matthew Sorell told the court blurry footage of the vehicle showed the driver had features "broadly consistent" with Mr Ristevski.

"I would note the short hair, coloured light grey," he said.

Part of the Crown case against Mr Ristevski will rely on evidence from police alleging mobile phone towers registered pings from Mr Ristevski's phone along Melbourne's Calder Freeway and near Diggers Rest, on the day Ms Ristevski went missing.

Diggers Rest is between the couple's home at Avondale Height and the location where Ms Ristevski's body was found at Mount Macedon.


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