Ex-model in Spanish court over love-triangle shooting

Maria Kukucova, right, hides her face in a scarf as she leaves a court after being taken into custody in Trencin, Slovakia, in 2014. Photo / AP
Maria Kukucova, right, hides her face in a scarf as she leaves a court after being taken into custody in Trencin, Slovakia, in 2014. Photo / AP

A former swimwear model told a Spanish court that she did not murder her British former boyfriend in his Costa del Sol mansion, claiming she shot him dead in self-defence.

Maria Kukucova, normally known as Mayka Kukucova, wept as she told the jury on the first day of her murder trial in Malaga that there had been a struggle with Bristol-based millionaire Andrew Bush and the revolver in his hand had gone off accidentally.

"I didn't want to cause him any harm," the 26-year-old Slovakian model said of the night of April 5, 2014 that ended the 48-year-old jeweller's life. "The gun just went off. I just wanted to break free from his grasp."

Prosecutors argue that Kukucova waited with a gun for Bush to enter his holiday home in Estepona, shooting him three times, twice in the head and once in the arm. They say the accused placed the gun in Bush's hand as he lay in a pool of blood.

Today, the accused said she did not remember the exact circumstances of the second and third shots. According to Kukucova, she had spent two days in Bush's mansion collecting her things after the couple broke up in late 2013.

She had not expected to see Bush at the house that night when he drove up accompanied by his new girlfriend, Maria Korotaeva, a 20-year-old who met the businessman while studying in Bristol.

Kukucova told the court that on seeing her in the house, Bush had told Korotaeva to go outside and the former couple had begun to argue.

She said that Bush had gripped her by the arms and neck and threatened to kill her and her family before going to lock the door to the house and returning to point a gun at her.

Korotaeva, who is due to be a key witness in the trial, told reporters shortly after the incident that the couple had found Kukucova in the house dressed in pyjamas.

Bush took her outside to wait in the car and had gone back into his house when she heard three shots and saw Kukucova run out, lock the door and drive off in one of the dead man's cars. Kukucova drove to Slovakia before giving herself up to police.

The public prosecutor in Malaga is asking for a sentence of 20 years for Kukucova, while private lawyers representing Bush's family have asked for 27 years if she is found guilty.

The trial continues.

- Daily Telegraph UK

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