A music teacher was allegedly killed by his partner and a friend over fears he was going to leave him with nothing.
Australian Mark Ciavarella, 57, had worked at an international school in the Democratic Republic of Congo for six years and had lived with his partner, Clement Bebeka, since 2016 when he went missing in October.
It is alleged Ciavarella was poisoned by his lover and one of his friends, who confessed in a video in November to lacing his drink and throwing his body into the crocodile-infested waters of the Congo River.
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Ciavarella's killing allegedly took place in the couple's apartment in the capital city of Brazzaville, where Bebeka claimed he found Ciavarella talking to another friend on the day of the alleged murder.
"He said Mark was going to leave the country and leave us with nothing and said we needed something to benefit," Bebeka told police in his confession.
"He said he had a solution."
When Ciavarella went to the bathroom, Bebeka claimed the friend poured poison into the teacher's drink and told him they needed to take his bank cards and cash.
Speaking of his partner's passing, Bebeka added: "After he drank the poison, he fell asleep and after 35 minutes or so he was dead."
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Bebeka confessed that he didn't try to stop the friend or warn his partner about the poison.
Once he realised his lover had passed away he called a friend who worked as a driver, and the three men worked together to wrap the victim's body in a sheet, disposing of it by throwing it off a bridge into the Congo River.
Both Bebeka and his friend have been charged following the alleged murder, and the video in which they detail their version of events will be shown at their trial at the Palais de Justice in Brazzaville, scheduled for March of this year.
Speaking of Ciavarella's death, his brother Darren spoke about the painful thought that his sibling's body may never be recovered.
"If it was a crash or illness, it would be easier to come to terms with, but the fact they killed him and fed him to crocodiles in the sea is killing us, it’s too painful to imagine his last moments," he told The Daily Telegraph.
"We are absolutely devastated.
"It’s gut-wrenching what’s happened to Mark. I spoke to him the day before he disappeared.
"He was in a good space and excited about coming back to his life in Australia."
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