German backpacker Simone Strobel was found murdered in Lismore in 2005.
German backpacker Simone Strobel was found murdered in Lismore in 2005. Contributed

MURDER MYSTERY: Simone's boyfriend blocks documents

THE boyfriend of murdered backpacker Simone Strobel has reportedly blocked the release of documents he claims could incriminate him in her unsolved death.

Toby Moran, formerly Tobias Suckfuell, has asserted "claims of privilege" over six documents sought in a defamation action in the Supreme Court of Western Australia, The Australian has reported.

Moran also reportedly fears being charged by NSW Police over the murder on the basis "circumstantial evidence".

 

A file photo of Tobias Suckfuell, boyfriend of murdered girl Simone Strobel.
A file photo of Tobias Suckfuell, boyfriend of murdered girl Simone Strobel. Jacklyn Wagner

The defamation action by Moran relates to the 2014 book Have You Seen Simone? by Virginia Peters.

The action has also targeted the publisher, Schwartz Publishing.

Last year The Northern Star reported Moran, a German citizen, tried to have an injunction placed on the publication of the book on the grounds that it defamed him.

But the judge hearing the injunction case in the Supreme Court of Western Australia, Kenneth Martin, found there was "reasonable suspicion" that Tobias was behind her death.

Today The Australian reported that Moran had asserted "claims of privilege" over six documents, which include the so-called "100-page documents" written by Moran and his now wife several years ago.

In an affadavit Mr Moran argued the documents gave rise to "assertions that I was involved in or responsible for the murder of Simone Strobel".

"My wife and I resolved that I should take active steps to clear my name and for that purpose we should seek legal advice as to the most appropriate way of clearing my name," Mr Moran said in the affadavit.

"In order to obtain that advice, we discussed that I should prepare a document recording my instructions."

"I am concerned that no person has ever been charged with the murder of Simone Strobel and in light of the defamatory imputation conveyed by the defendant's publication and the content of the book ... I am concerned that I may be charged by police in New South Wales based upon a case relying on circumstantial evidence," he said.

Court documents reveal that German police seized Mr Moran's laptop in the months following Ms Strobel's murder, but it was returned three months later.

Ms Strobel's naked body was found in downtown Lismore in 2005, six days after going missing.

Mr Moran and Ms Strobel had arrived in Australia on working visas shortly before her death, and had been vanpacking along the East Coast.

The case was never solved and it has haunted the town ever since.

The NSW Coroner found that the 25-year-old's death was likely due to "suffocation or smothering asphyxia", and had been caused by the action of a "person or persons unknown".

Mr Moran refused to appear at a 2007 inquest into Strobel's death which heard Ms Strobel and him had been arguing on the night of her alleged murder.



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