Model accused of murdering millionaire breaks down as court shown body photos
Published 24/05/2016 | 19:39
A jury has heard how a Slovakian model accused of murdering a British millionaire at his luxury home in Spain went on the run across Europe before handing herself in to police.
During her trial at a court in Malaga, Maria Kukucova, 26, described a violent struggle between herself and her ex-boyfriend, Andrew Bush, before she shot him at his luxury home near Marbella on the Costa del Sol.
Kukucova broke down in tears when images of Mr Bush's body, with two gunshot wounds to the head, were shown to the court at the Ciudad de la Justicia.
She was temporarily escorted from the room by police officers.
Giving evidence, Kukucova said Mr Bush, 48, had begun to "shout" at her, "hit" her and "shoot at" her after he returned to the house unexpectedly while she was collecting her things on April 4 2014.
Her defence lawyer, Carlos Larranaga, said that "she shot him" during the scuffle, but Kukucova insisted she did not realise that he was dead.
She said: "I was terrified. He was shouting that he was going to kill me and my family.
"I just wanted to get away. I didn't want to hurt him."
She described how she fled the house in Mr Bush's Hummer, before making her way to Madrid, meeting her boyfriend and then travelling by bus to France and finally Slovakia.
The 4x4 was found abandoned near a hospital near Malaga on April 6. Kukucova then handed herself in to authorities and was detained on suspicion of "consumed intentional homicide" before being extradited to Spain.
She has not entered a formal plea.
Also giving evidence, Mr Bush's then girlfriend, Russian national Maria Korotaeva told the court how she had been in the Hummer when her boyfriend was killed, but had no idea what had happened.
She and Mr Bush arrived at the house around 10.30 in the evening and realised something was wrong when she saw women's clothing and used plates around the house, she said.
When she came across Kukucova in an upstairs bedroom, she ran outside to the car.
She said: "About five minutes later Andy came to the car and said everything was alright and not to worry. He said he loved me."
Ms Korotaeva described how, minutes later, Kukucova emerged, fully dressed, with a suitcase.
"She told me Andy had given her the keys to the Hummer to get to the airport."
Ms Korotaeva told the court: "Then she called me by my Russian name and said 'Masha, please get out of the car'.
"I didn't want to call the police on her so I got out and she left."
Disruption broke out in court when Judge Ernesto Carlos Mazana, challenged Mr Larranaga for questioning Ms Korotaeva over her next moves.
The court heard that she tried to phone Mr Bush and his sister Rachel before emergency services arrived almost an hour later.
In a heated argument Mr Larranaga said: "Everything I ask is treated as irrelevant. I can't defend like this - it's impossible."
Kukucova held his arm affectionately as the court took a short break.
Mr Bush's daughter Ellie, 21, also gave evidence.
She told the court that her father, a jewellery store owner from Bristol, was her "only parent" growing up and said: "He was all I had."
She and Kukucova were brought to tears as she described how they had been good friends "from the beginning" of the defendant's two-year relationship with her father.
The trial will continue to the end of the week.