Karen Ristevski with her husband Borce. Picture: Supplied
Karen Ristevski with her husband Borce. Picture: Supplied

Ploy to get Borce to confess to murder

DAYS after Karen Ristevski vanished, a detective asked her husband Borce: "Is there something you want to tell me? Good people make mistakes."

At the time Borce Ristevski was not under arrest, had not been read his rights and was not considered a suspect, a Melbourne court has been told.

The now-accused killer's lawyer David Hallowes SC on Thursday recounted the early interview his client had with the Missing Persons Squad.

Detective Sergeant Graham Hamilton delivered the "good people make mistakes" line, Mr Hallowes said.

"It's a bit of a homicide squad technique," the barrister told Melbourne Magistrates Court on Thursday.

"A technique used in the interrogation of suspects."

Detective Senior Constable Hannah Thompson was present during the interview and also testified on Thursday.

Mr Hallowes asked her: "Did you think Borce Ristevski was a suspect?"

"Not to my knowledge," Sen Constable Thompson replied. "He's not being treated as a suspect at that stage."

Fashion boutique-owner Karen Ristevski went missing from her Avondale Heights home in Melbourne's west on June 29, 2016.

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

Her husband claimed she left on foot to clear her mind after an argument and never returned.

Her body was found eight months later between two logs in Macedon Regional Park, northwest of the city.

Mr Ristevski, 54, was charged with murder in December.

He's now facing a committal hearing to determine if there is enough evidence to send him to trial.

It's alleged he killed his wife at their home and dumped her body in the bush, taking her Mercedes-Benz Roadster to do so.

Ristevski told police he only drove the car to get petrol, changing his mind when the faulty fuel gauge showed it wasn't needed.

He claimed he kept driving towards his wife's dress store Bella Bleu but missed the turn-off so decided to return home.

But detectives allege he lied about his movements that day to avoid detection. Karen's aunt, Patricia Gray, said Borce's accounts of the day seemed "flimsy" and that he wasn't helping police as best he could.

"I provided as much support as I could for both of them," Ms Gray said in a police statement, released by a court on Thursday.

"But I could tell Borce wasn't assisting police or himself to find Karen, which I found frustrating."

Prosecutors have compiled a 22,000-page evidence brief, including CCTV footage of what they allege is Mr Ristevski driving his wife's Mercedes to dump the body.

A computer systems and digital imagery expert also testified on Thursday, saying CCTV footage taken near Diggers Rest shows a car like Ms Ristevski's.

The footage is blurry but Dr Matthew Sorell, a lecturer in telecommunications and multimedia engineering at the University of Adelaide, said the driver in question had features "broadly consistent" with Borce Ristevski.

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

The hearing continues on Monday.


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