Monday 15 June 2015
Special Edition 140
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Nikola Novakovich, accused of murdering Karen Williams in 1990, returns to
Coober Pedy with SA Supreme Court
THE man accused of murdering Karen Williams almost 25 years ago, sparking one of SA’s most
infamous cold cases, has returned to the scene of his alleged crime.
Nikola Novakovich, who is standing trial for the 1990 cold case murder of Karen
Williams, during a view of the alleged crime scene at Coober Pedy. Picture: Greg Higgs.
THE man accused of murdering Karen Williams almost 25 years ago, sparking one of SA’s most infamous
cold cases, has returned to the scene of his alleged crime.
For the first time, The Advertiser can show Nikola Novakovich, who has denied murdering the
popular Coober Pedy teenager in 1990 when he was 18 years old.
Novakovich returned to the outback town today as part of a Supreme Court view of locations prosecutors
allege are central to the decades-old mystery.
They include the Opal Inn Hotel, a roadhouse and the former site of a restaurant at which Ms Williams and
her friends drank and socialised before her disappearance.
Prosecutors, defence counsel and Justice Tim Stanley will also travel to the street at which Novakovich
allegedly dropped Miss Williams’ friends before murdering her.
Another key location, according to prosecutors, is an opal mining shaft outside the town where a police
informant claims he helped Novakovich dump Miss Williams’ body.
Her body has never been recovered — prosecutors must prove, beyond reasonable doubt, not only that
Miss Williams was murdered but that she is actually dead.
Karen Williams, 16, disappeared from Coober Pedy in 1990.
Novakovich, 42, has pleaded not guilty to having murdered Miss Williams on August 4, 1990.
Her disappearance has been one of the state’s most persistent and baffling cold cases, prompting
decades of investigation and multiple searches of mine shafts for her remains.
Prosecutors have alleged Novakovich killed Miss Williams because she witnessed he and another
man, Aleksander Radosavljevic, robbing an opal miner just days prior.
They have told the court that Mr Radosavljevic will give evidence during the trial about his
involvement, and the part he played in an undercover police sting operation.
Mr Radosavljevic recorded discussions he had, with Novakovich, about an incident in their shared
past — prosecutors allege it was Miss Williams’ murder.
It is alleged Novakovich urged Mr Radosavljevic to remain silent and not “tell a lie to cover
a lie to cover a lie”.
Defence counsel have already flagged a challenge to the admissibility of Mr Radosavljevic’s evidence,
saying police had him tell lies in order to entrap Novakovich.
The trial, which Justice Stanley is hearing in the absence of a jury, continues.
Remembering the Magna Carta: lest we forget!
Mrs Roslyn Phillips, National Research Officer, FamilyVoice Australia
“On this day 800 years ago – 15 June 1215 – King John set his royal seal on the Magna Carta in the
idyllic Runnymede meadows near Windsor,” FamilyVoice research officer Ros Phillips said today.
“As Pooh Bear’s creator A A Milne reminded us, King John was not a good man. He reluctantly agreed
to the charter, drawn up by frustrated nobles who were guided by Stephen Langton, Archbishop of
Canterbury. The original charter was dismissed after just ten weeks, but later kings re-affirmed
its wording. Its powerful ideas have echoed down through the ages:
• Freedom of religion
• The king is subject to the law, just like the rest of us
• Trial by peers – eventually developing into trial by jury
• The right to private property
• No imprisonment without trial
• No taxation without representation
• The law must follow due process.
Lord Denning, former UK Master of the Rolls, said the Magna Carta
is: “The greatest constitutional document of all times – the foundation of the
freedom of the individual against the arbitrary authority of the despot.”
Ros Phillips said it is worth paying special attention to the
principles of the Magna Carta at a time when the freedoms it upholds are under
growing threat in our “politically correct” times.
“For example, governments increasingly want to limit the right of
faith-based schools to choose staff who uphold the school’s ethos or even to
teach students the values on which the school was founded,” she said.
“King John may be long dead, but today we face new despots.
“Long live the Magna Carta!”
The Coober Pedy Historical Society
Please Join us at the Crater on Sunday 21st June
leaving from the Council at 2 pm
Hear stories from miners who worked there
Enjoy the scenery, look for some opal
Share a cuppa and your stories
Please bring your own chair and afternoon tea
We will car pool
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