News State Victoria Borce Ristevski’s daughter questioned his story in secret audio, court hears

Borce Ristevski’s daughter questioned his story in secret audio, court hears

Karen Ristevski murder investigation
Borce Ristevski's daughter questioned his story over wife Karen's disappearance, prosecutors say Photo: AAP
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Accused Melbourne wife-killer Borce Ristevski told his daughter he was getting “shisha” on the day Karen Ristevski vanished, secret audio shows according to prosecutors.

Mr Ristevski, 54, is accused of murdering his dress shop-owner wife at the family’s Avondale Heights home before dumping her body in the bush on June 29, 2016.

In a conversation captured by a listening device in the months after Ms Ristevski disappeared, the couple’s daughter Sarah questioned her father about what he did that day.

“I was going to get shisha. I didn’t say anything because I didn’t know it was legal,” he said, referring to smoking using a water pipe.

Prosecutor Matt Fisher detailed the conversation on Thursday as he made closing submissions at a hearing to decide whether Mr Ristevski stands trial for murder.

Sarah went on: “You were out of the house for two hours. Your phone is off for two hours … They pinged you on the Calder [Freeway].”

Mr Ristevski responded: “That’s what they are trying to plant out there, Sarah.”

“That doesn’t make sense,” she replied.

“Nothing makes sense because they’re making it up as they go,” he replied.

Mr Ristevski claimed his wife had gone out for a walk to clear her mind that morning and never returned.

Detectives allege he killed his wife, bundled her into her Mercedes-Benz roadster and drove to Macedon Regional Park via the Calder Freeway.

Mr Fisher said Mr Ristevski concealed the body in a “thorough” way and deliberately switched off their phones before arriving in the bush.

“He takes the body from the car and places it between two fallen tree trunks then further conceals her body with things from the bush. Leaves, branches,” Mr Fisher said.

Ms Ristevski’s skeletal remains were found in February 2017 by two horticulturalists who noticed a strange smell.

Mr Ristevski’s lawyers say the murder charge should be abandoned because even if a jury were to find he killed her, there is no evidence of motive or “murderous intent”.

However they concede there is enough evidence to commit Mr Ristevski to stand trial on the lesser charge of manslaughter.

Prosecutors are pushing for a murder trial and say his deceitful actions after the alleged killing, including lying to police and family, give rise to the required intent.

“The post-offence conduct is so sustained, there is so much of it and it is so significant that the only conclusion available is that the accused man had the murderous intent,” Mr Fisher said.

“This isn’t just an accidental killing.”

Mr Ristevski was charged after a police investigation that involved phone taps, listening devices and CCTV footage analysis.

The family’s dire financial situation has been recounted to court with details of Ms Ristevski’s fashion store Bella Bleu being unable to cover its expenses.

The Ristevskis had allegedly argued over money before the killing.

Dozens of witnesses have testified during the eight-day committal hearing and magistrate Suzanne Cameron will consider whether there is sufficient evidence to send Mr Ristevski to stand trial for murder.

She is due to deliver her decision on August 2.