Borce Ristevski will stand trial for murder over the death of his wife Karen.
According to the Brisbane Times, the accused killer appeared in Melbourne Magistrates Court on Thursday and once again entered a plea of not guilty over the charges.
Magistrate Suzanne Cameron reportedly found there was sufficient evidence that a jury could possibly convict the 54-year-old for murder, before committing the case to trial.
Ristevski, 54, is charged with murdering his 47-year-old wife on June 29, 2016 – an accusation he has repeatedly denied.
Karen, a fashion boutique owner, went missing from her Oakley Drive home in Avondale Heights, Melbourne, in June 2016, and her body was found by a member of the public in bushland in the Mount Macedon Regional Park on February 20, 2017. Her remains were found under a log in the park, but police have not publicly released her cause of death.
Her husband, who was the last person to see Karen alive, told police she left the home to clear her head after they’d argued, but after failing to return the next day, he reported her missing. Ristevski was charged with Karen’s murder in December 2017.
Ristevski’s lawyers ended the nine-day committal hearing last week by claiming there was not sufficient evidence for him to stand trial on murder charges, and instead pushed for it to be reduced to manslaughter. However, their bid was unsuccessful.
It comes after their daughter Sarah broke down in court as she described her family’s “close” relationship, while standing just metres away from her father. According to multiple reports at the time, Sarah became emotional as she described the close bond she shared with both her parents, before insisting her father was “very worried” when her mother first went missing.
She also claimed while her mother would often take time out on walks to clear her head, her father “was always the calm one”.
“I didn’t grow up in a household where there were major arguments,” she told the court.
Describing a typical argument in her family, Sarah reportedly said it wouldn’t go beyond a minor disagreement, but said her mother was known to like her own space if she became stressed out, claiming: “She liked to be alone when she was upset.”
Despite the allegations against him, Sarah insisted her father was “very worried” when Karen first went missing.
“People that actually knew him and know him, knew he was distressed,” she said. “He was concerned about where my mum was.”
Sarah also hit out at the public scrutiny throughout the investigation into her mother’s death, claiming it didn’t allow her and her father any time to grieve.