In Depth

Shrien Dewani: will inquest resolve unanswered questions?

Shrien Dewani was acquitted of murder but might still face questions over wife's honeymoon murder

Shrien Dewani urged to explain himself on the witness stand

25 November

The family of murdered bride Anni Dewani has urged her husband Shrien Dewani to go on the witness stand and answer the allegations against him.

Shrien's lawyers yesterday argued that the case against their client should be thrown out due to the lack of evidence put forward by the prosecution. Defence lawyer Francois Van Zyl said the state's key witness was "completely unreliable" and that his evidence was "not worth the paper it's written on".

The trial has now been adjourned until next month while Judge Jeanette Traverso considers whether the case should proceed.

Shrien has reportedly packed his bags in the hope that she will dismiss the charges against him and allow him to return to England as a free man without having to give evidence in court.

But Ashok Hindocha, Anni's uncle, has issued a statement calling on Shrien to go into the witness box and tell the court what really happened.

"We want to hear it in his own words," he said. "We have waited four years for this to happen and it would not be right if he does not do it."

Hindocha said that hearing Shrien's own version of events was "crucial" for the family to reach closure. "He has admitted that he had been having sex with gay prostitutes through his lawyers, and that was a shock to us," he added. "But we as her family desperately need Shrien to go through the events of her murder so that the whole story is told fully and no questions are left unanswered."

Today, the court has been hearing from prosecutor Adrian Mopp, who is arguing that the trial should continue and that Shrien's evidence should be tested.

Shrien is accused of plotting to have his wife murdered on their honeymoon in Cape Town in November 2010.

Here is what we have heard so far today: 

1.00pm: Prosecutor Adrian Mopp continues his argument after the lunch break. He has already told the court that Anni's convicted murderers are "not the A-team of contract killers" and could barely organise transport to the intended murder spot. "We are dealing with an amateurish attempt," he told the judge. "If it were not for the killing of the deceased, it would actually be comical, the manner in which this matter was set about." Mopp says there would have had to have been a "conspiracy within a conspiracy" to falsely implicate Shrien Dewani. "It's almost beyond them," he says.

Defence lawyer Francois Van Zyl is given a chance to respond to the prosecution. He points out that even if Shrien turned out to be an appalling witness it would not make the testimony of key witness Zola Tongo any more credible.

The trial is adjourned until 8 December to give Judge Traverso time to decide whether to continue the trial or allow Dewani to walk free without having to take the witness stand.

11.00am: Prosecutor Adrian Mopp argues that Shrien's version of events should be tested. He has pointed to several problems with the defence's case. Shrien claims he had no idea that the taxi he and Anni were travelling in would be hijacked, let alone that his wife would be shot. Mopp asks if it was therefore merely a coincidence that Anni supposedly wanted to return to the Gugulethu township at the exact time that their taxi driver had planned to run into the two hitmen. "The court is led to believe that it is completely fortuitous that two people are waiting and, lo and behold, the deceased wanted to go back into the township at that exact time?" said Mopp.

He also notes that Dewani never mentioned to Anni's family that he went to change money on the morning of her murder or that he had been planning a helicopter trip, as he later claimed in his written statement. "The accused's explanation has not been tested," says Mopp. "There is no reference. This is an important bit that cannot be ignored."

Shrien Dewani: Anni's parents to sue over 'false' marriage

2 December

The parents of murdered bride Anni Dewani are planning to sue her husband Shrien Dewani for failing to reveal his bisexuality before their wedding.

Shrien is on trial for allegedly paying a group of South African men to murder his wife while they were on their honeymoon in Cape Town in November 2010.

Rumours of his "secret homosexuality" circulated just after Anni's death, but it was not until the first day of his trial in October that Shrien admitted he was bisexual and had slept with male prostitutes.

Anni's father Vinod Hindocha said it came as a "shock" to the family and neither he nor his daughter would have agreed to the marriage if they had known.

In an interview with the Daily Mail, he revealed that he had asked a lawyer in London to pursue legal action against Shrien for the costs of the wedding and for the loss of his daughter.

Hindocha claims he paid two-thirds of the Dewanis' three-day wedding in Mumbai, which is estimated to have cost £200,000.

"The whole wedding was a drama and was false. I am going to sue him for that. Not for money, but for the loss of my daughter. My daughter left this world just for nothing," said Hindocha.

The legal action will go ahead once the criminal proceedings have concluded, regardless of whether Shrien is found guilty in South Africa, he said.

Anni's parents said they were not homophobic but were shocked at the way Shrien had deceived the family and Anni.

"Which father in the world, including me, would allow their daughter to marry a person who sleeps with men?" asked Hindocha. "Now we have the truth and that he has literally deceived the whole family."

Anni's parents, who live in Sweden, said that every day in court had been "torture" for them. They urged Shrien to "be a man, don't be a coward" and take the witness stand in court.

Judge Jeanette Traverso is currently deciding whether the state has presented enough evidence for the trial to continue. She will announce her decision on 8 December.

Shrien Dewani urged to explain himself on the witness stand

25 November

The family of murdered bride Anni Dewani has urged her husband Shrien Dewani to go on the witness stand and answer the allegations against him.

Shrien's lawyers yesterday argued that the case against their client should be thrown out due to the lack of evidence put forward by the prosecution. Defence lawyer Francois Van Zyl said the state's key witness was "completely unreliable" and that his evidence was "not worth the paper it's written on".

The trial has now been adjourned until next month while Judge Jeanette Traverso considers whether the case should proceed.

Shrien has reportedly packed his bags in the hope that she will dismiss the charges against him and allow him to return to England as a free man without having to give evidence in court.

But Ashok Hindocha, Anni's uncle, has issued a statement calling on Shrien to go into the witness box and tell the court what really happened.

"We want to hear it in his own words," he said. "We have waited four years for this to happen and it would not be right if he does not do it."

Hindocha said that hearing Shrien's own version of events was "crucial" for the family to reach closure. "He has admitted that he had been having sex with gay prostitutes through his lawyers, and that was a shock to us," he added. "But we as her family desperately need Shrien to go through the events of her murder so that the whole story is told fully and no questions are left unanswered."

Today, the court has been hearing from prosecutor Adrian Mopp, who is arguing that the trial should continue and that Shrien's evidence should be tested.

Shrien is accused of plotting to have his wife murdered on their honeymoon in Cape Town in November 2010.

Here is what we have heard so far today: 

1.00pm: Prosecutor Adrian Mopp continues his argument after the lunch break. He has already told the court that Anni's convicted murderers are "not the A-team of contract killers" and could barely organise transport to the intended murder spot. "We are dealing with an amateurish attempt," he told the judge. "If it were not for the killing of the deceased, it would actually be comical, the manner in which this matter was set about." Mopp says there would have had to have been a "conspiracy within a conspiracy" to falsely implicate Shrien Dewani. "It's almost beyond them," he says.

Defence lawyer Francois Van Zyl is given a chance to respond to the prosecution. He points out that even if Shrien turned out to be an appalling witness it would not make the testimony of key witness Zola Tongo any more credible.

The trial is adjourned until 8 December to give Judge Traverso time to decide whether to continue the trial or allow Dewani to walk free without having to take the witness stand.

11.00am: Prosecutor Adrian Mopp argues that Shrien's version of events should be tested. He has pointed to several problems with the defence's case. Shrien claims he had no idea that the taxi he and Anni were travelling in would be hijacked, let alone that his wife would be shot. Mopp asks if it was therefore merely a coincidence that Anni supposedly wanted to return to the Gugulethu township at the exact time that their taxi driver had planned to run into the two hitmen. "The court is led to believe that it is completely fortuitous that two people are waiting and, lo and behold, the deceased wanted to go back into the township at that exact time?" said Mopp.

He also notes that Dewani never mentioned to Anni's family that he went to change money on the morning of her murder or that he had been planning a helicopter trip, as he later claimed in his written statement. "The accused's explanation has not been tested," says Mopp. "There is no reference. This is an important bit that cannot be ignored."

Shrien Dewani murder case is 'based on conspiracy'

24 November

The case against murder suspect Shrien Dewani is "based on conspiracy", his lawyer has argued in court today. The defence team is trying to persuade Judge Jeanette Traverso to throw out the case against Shrien, who is accused of plotting to have his wife Anni Dewani murdered on their honeymoon in Cape Town in November 2010. If the defence is successful, Shrien could walk free from Western Cape High Court as an innocent man. 

So far in the trial, the judge has heard from 16 witnesses called by the prosecution. The key witnesses were three men who admitted involvement in the plot to murder Anni. Zola Tongo and Mziwamadoda Qwabe, both jailed for Anni's murder, and middleman Monde Mbolombo, granted immunity for testifying in an earlier trial, all pointed the finger at Shrien. However, the defence showed repeated inconsistencies in their evidence. Here is what we have heard today:

1.30pm: After lunch, Van Zyl continues to argue that taxi driver Tongo's evidence is "not worth the paper it's written on". Again, he suggests that Qwabe was the one who shot Anni, not Mngeni as previously believed. Something was "amiss" in Qwabe's testimony, says Van Zyl. For example, why did they shoot her in a residential area rather than a more discreet area? He also points out that the witnesses contradicted each other about who was sitting where in the stolen taxi. "Qwabe's evidence that Mngeni shot the deceased was a lie. Why is he lying?" asks the lawyer.

Judge Traverso reveals some of her own concerns about the state's evidence and even jokes about one state witness, saying she "won't ask" Van Zyl about the reconstruction done by one police ballistics expert. "What concerns me about this conspiracy is that we have a very clear agreement as to how much money was going to be paid, where they were going to meet the hijackers, who was going to be put off where," she says. "And then the plan just falls flat. What was going to happen to the car? Where would she be killed?" After Judge Traverso tells Van Zyl he does not need to address Mbolombo's evidence, the lawyer wraps up for the day.

10.00am: Defence counsel Francois van Zyl points out the "huge difference" in material evidence from the key witnesses. Tongo claims Shrien said he wanted a "business partner" killed, yet Qwabe and Mbolombo – who only ever communicated with Tongo, not Shrien – said that a husband wanted his "wife" killed.

"It is crucial for the state's case to prove that the accused entered into the alleged conspiracy agreement with Tongo," says the lawyer. But he points out that Tongo's evidence contradicted some of the common cause evidence, such as CCTV footage. "Why do we have these contradictions? Only if the man is not telling the truth."

9.00am: Van Zyl begins telling the court why Shrien's case should be thrown out. "The whole case is based on conspiracy," he says. The evidence from taxi driver Zola Tongo is the "pillar on which the state's case is built", says Van Zyl, but Tongo proved himself to be a "completely unreliable witness". The testimonies of Mziwamadoda Qwabe and Monde Mbolombo rely "entirely" on what Tongo told them. But the lawyer says Tongo's evidence was of "poor quality" and that there is "no credible evidence on record, on which the court can convict".

Van Zyl asks the judge to consider how probable it is that a foreigner arrives in South Africa, takes a taxi and, within half an hour, arranges a murder with his driver. Tongo could not even remember if the subject of payment had been discussed before he sought a hitman and, in his original statement, makes no mention of the R5,000 he later claimed he was offered. 

Van Zyl says it is also a "huge improbability" that Shrien would short-change two dangerous killers by a third of his promised payment, as claimed by the prosecution, paying them just 10,000 rand (£580 at today's exchange rate) for the hit, rather than the 15,000 rand he had promised.

Shrien Dewani trial: police question who paid for hitman's funeral

21 November

South African police are reportedly trying to find out if the mystery donor who paid the legal fees for one of Anni Dewani's murderers also funded his funeral last month.

Xolile Mngeni was sentenced to 25 years for firing the shot that killed Anni on 13 November 2010, but died in prison last month after being diagnosed with a brain tumour.

During his 2012 trial, Mngeni's private lawyer Matthews Dayimani revealed that his fees were being paid for by an anonymous human rights organisation "interested in the case".

Pressed further by reporters outside court, Dayimani said the donor was a Kenyan man named Edmondo. "He is a legal consultant working on his own," said the lawyer.

At the time, Dayimani dismissed speculation that Shrien Dewani was in any way connected to the donor. He also told South Africa's Daily Voice that he had no direct dealings with "Edmundo" and that it was Mngeni's family who had been in touch with the mystery man.

Two years later, the donor's identity has still not been revealed and, according to South Africa's Mail and Guardian newspaper, police are trying to find out if he is the one who paid for Mngeni's funeral last month.

Dayimani said he contributed to Mngeni's funeral parlour costs and believed Mngeni's extended family paid for the rest. He added this week that Mngeni's legal costs were also partly funded by his own pro-bono work, which he said "almost bankrupted" him.

The Mail and Guardian says it still "begs the question why a donor or foreign human rights group would fund the large legal costs of a man who had chosen a life of crime, and whose criminal record was a serious indictment of the South African judicial system".

Shrien Dewani's lawyers are currently trying to have his case thrown out. His is accused of paying Mngeni and two other men to kill his wife in a fake carjacking during their honeymoon in Cape Town. However, legal experts have suggested the state has failed to provide enough evidence to prove his guilt.

There were no plans for Mngeni to be called as a witness during Dewani's trial. After initially admitting to Anni's murder, Mngeni changed his plea to not guilty and said he had been tortured by police into confessing. He turned down Legal Aid representation and arrived at court with private lawyers.

Shrien's trial will resume on Monday.

Shrien Dewani: why murder trial could collapse in a week

17 November

Honeymoon murder suspect Shrien Dewani could be "going home next Monday" if the Western Cape High Court agrees to dismiss his case.

Shrien's defence lawyers announced today that they would be applying for the charges against their client to be dropped. The court has been adjourned so the two sides can prepare their cases for and against dismissal, before making their arguments to Judge Jeanette Traverso next week

"Potentially [Shrien] could be going home next Monday," says News24 reporter Roy McKenzie.

Under Section 174 of South Africa's Criminal Procedure Act, a case can be dismissed if the state has not produced evidence strong enough to secure a conviction.

"You have to have a conviction beyond reasonable doubt," says McKenzie. "You can't send an innocent man to prison, but you also cannot send a person to prison when the evidence is not quite strong enough to convict them. I think very much that is what is going to happen here."

The state, which has called 16 witnesses, closed its case today. It claims Shrien paid a group of South African men to kill his wife while they were on their honeymoon in Cape Town in November 2010.

Judge Traverso has made several scathing comments about the prosecution's case. She excluded much of the evidence from three witnesses, including gay escort Leopold Leisser, after Shrien admitted his bisexuality last month and she accused the prosecution of "scurrying around for witnesses" weeks into the trial.

On top of this, the three main state witnesses gave "very poor evidence", says William Booth, chairman of the South African Law Society's criminal law and procedure committee.

Zola Tongo and Mziwamadoda Qwabe, both jailed for Anni's murder, were repeatedly accused of giving inconsistent evidence. Middleman Monde Mbolombo, who was granted immunity for testifying in an earlier trial, admitted to previously lying under oath. The defence also noted that Tongo had received a cut in his prison sentence in exchange for implicating Shrien in the murder.

"The main problem is you are dealing with witnesses who are accomplices, so you must treat the evidence with caution," Booth tells the Daily Mail.

News24's Roy McKenzie says that the National Prosecuting Authority could face some difficult questions about why it spent so much money on extraditing Shrien from the UK if its "watertight" case crumbles.

Shrien Dewani: gunshot expert casts doubt on defence theory

14 November

A gunshot residue expert testifying at the trial of Shrien Dewani has cast doubt on the defence's claim that hitman Mziwamadoda Qwabe shot Anni Dewani.

Colonel Thandiwe Mlabateki, from the South African Police Service's forensic science laboratory, was called by the prosecution after the defence suggested the state had accused the wrong man of pulling the trigger.

Xolile Mngeni was jailed for 25 years for shooting Anni, although he died from a brain tumour last month. His associate Qwabe was given the same sentence for his part in the murder plot.

Defence lawyer Francois Van Zyl has claimed it was in fact Qwabe who pulled the trigger as he attempted to pull Anni out of the car. The court has heard that gunshot residue was found on a yellow kitchen glove worn by Qwabe that night.

But today's police witness, who has 19 years' experience in forensics, said someone might test positive for primer residue if they were within two metres of the person who fired the gun.

Mlabateki, the state's 16th witness, said a primer residue examination cannot determine who the shooter is because particles end up on all exposed surfaces.

The prosecution claims Shrien paid Mngeni, Qwabe and taxi driver Zola Tongo to kill his wife in a fake carjacking.

After the couple had eaten at a restaurant on 13 November 2010, Tongo drove them through a township, where the vehicle was hijacked by Mngeni and Qwabe. Shrien and Tongo were forced out of the car and Anni was later found dead in the back seat.

But Shrien's defence lawyers claim their client had nothing to do with Anni's murder and have suggested that she was killed when a plan to kidnap her for money went wrong. 

Yesterday, Anni's family marked the fourth anniversary of her death through prayer and reflection at the scene where her body was found.

Shrien Dewani trial: state still 'scurrying around for witnesses'

13 November

The judge presiding over the Shrien Dewani case has lambasted the prosecution for "scurrying around for witnesses" so late in the trial.

Judge Jeanette Traverso expressed frustration with prosecutor Adrian Mopp today after he asked for proceedings to be cut short so he could call a new police witness on Friday.

"It's unfortunate that on the 20th day, the state is still scurrying around for witnesses," said Judge Traverso. "I must just express my great displeasure at the way in which the matter is being dealt with. This case has cost the state a lot of money and a lot of publicity. When is it going to end?"

Mopp assured her that this was the last piece needed in the investigation and revealed that the witness would be a police expert on primer residue who would testify on what happens when a shot is fired.

"This crime was committed four years ago. There were lengthy extradition proceedings, statements have been made, video clips have been made, police have gone on television, Panorama programmes and other programmes about the state's case," she said.

"And now you are telling me that you are waiting for something as fundamental as primer residue?"

The court will not reconvene until Friday, with Anni's family due to mark the fourth anniversary of her death tomorrow.

Earlier today, Shrien's defence lawyers showed three CCTV clips of him and Anni apparently enjoying each other's company just before the shooting.

Shrien wiped away tears in court as the couple were seen on the screen walking together and taking photographs of each other. At one point Shrien holds Anni and kisses her.

Later that day, on 13 November 2010, Anni and Shrien travelled in a taxi to a restaurant. The vehicle was later hijacked by two men, who forced Shrien and the taxi driver out of the car and shot Anni.

The two hitmen Mziwamadoda Qwabe and Xolile Mngeni and the taxi driver Zola Tongo have already been jailed for Anni's murder. Shrien denies paying the men to kill his wife.

Anni Dewani 'ready to leave' Shrien days before murder

11 November

Shrien Dewani's wife told him she was "ready to pack and leave" days before she was murdered in a carjacking in Cape Town, South Africa.

Emails found on Anni Dewani's Blackberry suggest that she wanted to break off the marriage days after their wedding, before they left for their honeymoon in South Africa in November 2010.

"I don't want an insecure man or whose feelings aren't real. I am ready to pack and leave. This is not a joke," she wrote.

Referring to their £200,000 Hindu wedding ceremony in Mumbai, she added: "Because we had a Bollywood wedding doesn't mean we are Bollywood actors and should just pretend."

The contents of the email were revealed at the Western Cape High Court, where Shrien is on trial for allegedly paying hitmen to shoot his wife.

Three men – taxi driver Zola Tongo, Mziwamadoda Qwabe and Xolile Mngeni – have already been jailed for Anni's murder.

Here's what else we heard today:

9.30am: The prosecution calls its next witness, police officer Captain Paul Hendrickse. The court hears that police investigating the case obtained emails sent from Anni to Shrien. In one email, dated 5 November 2010, just eight days before Anni was shot, she suggests that Shrien had expressed doubts about the marriage. "You did say if you saw in a crystal ball how this marriage would have been like then you wouldn't have got married," she wrote. Anni says she is "letting this go" but asks him to tell her if he feels anything else negative about the relationship. She warns that pretending everything is good when it isn't will result in them "hating each other".

1.00pm: Hendrickse claims Shrien has changed his version of events. In his police statement, Shrien claimed he gave Anni's rings to the attackers, but then specifically asked the officer to find the ring he had hidden in the taxi. Hendrickse says Shrien never mentioned that he had asked taxi driver Zola Tongo to arrange a helicopter trip as a surprise for his wife. If Shrien had mentioned it, Tongo would have become a "suspect right from the beginning and it would have provided a motive", says Hendrickse. The police officer suggests this part of Dewani's testimony is "newly fabricated".

Shrien Dewani: hotel clerk admits 'leading role' in murder

10 November

A hotel receptionist who escaped prosecution over the Anni Dewani shooting has admitted he took a "leading role" in the murder plot.

Monde Mbolombo is back on the witness stand at the trial of British businessman Shrien Dewani, who is accused of paying a group of South African men to murder his wife.

Three men – taxi driver Zola Tongo, Mziwamadoda Qwabe and Xolile Mngeni – were jailed for Anni's murder. Mbolombo was given immunity from prosecution for testifying against Mngeni, but he has now been warned that he could face prosecution after all if he implicates himself at the Shrien Dewani trial.

Today he admitted taking a "leading role" in organising the murder, in which Qwabe and Mngeni hijacked the Dewanis' taxi on 13 November 2010 and later shot Anni in the back seat.

The court has previously been shown CCTV footage of Shrien slipping away from a police officer and his father-in-law to allegedly pay his taxi driver Tongo for organising his wife's murder.

Shrien admits handing over R1,000 (£65) to Tongo, who is serving  an 18-year prison sentence for his part in the murder, but Shrien says he handed it over as a tip, with a thank you card for Tongo's help after the carjacking.

Hotel footage of the two men on the day after Anni's murder shows Shrien glancing up at a CCTV camera in the corner of the room. Tongo claimed that he had warned Dewani about the camera as they allegedly spoke in secret.

Today Mbolombo is back in the witness stand. Here is what we have heard so far:

10.00am: Defence lawyer Francois Van Zyl asks Mbolombo why he refers to hitman Mziwamadoda Qwabe as "Abongile" in all his witness statements and court testimonies, when Qwabe said he had never heard of the name. Van Zyl suggests Mbolombo had been covering for Qwabe by using a fake name and later lied that it was a nickname. Mbolombo claims he had forgotten Qwabe's name and did not want to ask him because they had known each other for so long. "Where did you get the name Abongile from? Is it something you made up?" asks Judge Jeanette Traverso. "Yes," says Mbolombo. Van Zyl asks him why he would then continue to use the made-up name once he had found out Qwabe's real name. "There is no particular reason for keeping on with that name, but since I started using it, I continued using it," says Mbolombo.

Midday: Mbolombo admits that he contacted the hitmen hours before the murder to insist that it must happen that night. Van Zyl suggests that this is evidence of Mbolombo "taking control" and "giving instructions". The witness agrees and says: "I was making sure the job was done. Since there was money to be received, I wanted to make sure it happened." However, he says the instruction had come from taxi driver Zola Tongo. Judge Traverso asks if he maintains that he took a "leading role" throughout the murder plot. Mbolombo says this is correct.

Shrien Dewani trial: financial problems fuelled murder plot

6 November

The middleman in the plot to kill Anni Dewani has admitted he was "thinking about money, not how precious a life is" when he helped arrange her murder.

Monde Mbolombo has been giving evidence at the trial of Shrien Dewani, who is accused of paying hitmen to kill his wife on their honeymoon in Cape Town.

The prosecution claims Shrien offered money to taxi driver Zola Tongo, who he met at the airport, to organise a fake carjacking, in which his wife would be killed.

Tongo's friend Mbolombo then put him in touch with Mziwamadoda Qwabe and Xolile Mngeni, the two South African men who later carried out the murder.

Tongo, Qwabe and Mngeni were all convicted of murder and sent to prison, but Mbolombo was given indemnity against prosecution for testifying against Mngeni.

Shrien has pleaded not guilty to charges including kidnapping, murder and defeating the ends of justice.

Here's what we heard today:  

1.00pm: Monde Mbolombo, a former hotel receptionist, has been testifying this afternoon. He told the court that it was financial difficulties that led him to agree to arrange Anni Dewani's murder. "At the time when all of this happened, I was in financial problems, so we were not thinking how precious a person's life was," he said. "In my language, there is a saying that no price can be put on a life. We fell into this trap because we were thinking about money, not how precious a life is." 

Mbolombo said that one of the hitmen, Mziwamadoda Qwabe, came round to his house the day after the murder and was upset because the money he found in the taxi had been short by R5,000. Mbolombo said he had not asked for his share because Qwabe was "so angry".

10.00am: Captain Vinesh Lutchman, a South African police officer, has been on the witness stand. Judge Jeanette Traverso asked whether there was anything about Dewani's behaviour that made him suspicious in the days after the murder. Lutchman said Shrien had not acted suspiciously, although he had not attended a Hindu ceremony to bless his wife's body before it was repatriated. Instead, he had gone shopping. Defence lawyer Pieter Botha suggested Dewani had identified her body the previous day and that had been "quite traumatic". Lutchman accepted that identifying a body was not pleasant.

Shrien Dewani trial: murderer 'confessed true story to inmate'

5 November

One of Anni Dewani's murderers allegedly confessed in prison that she was killed by accident when a kidnapping plan went wrong.

Anni was found dead in the back of a taxi in November 2010 after she and her husband Shrien Dewani had their taxi hijacked in Cape Town during their honeymoon.

Zola Tongo, the couple's taxi driver, who is serving 18 years in prison for helping arrange the murder, spent his seventh and final day on the witness stand today. He has accused Shrien of paying him and two hitmen – Mziwamadoda Qwabe and Xolile Mngeni – to kill his wife in a fake carjacking.

But Shrien's lawyer has said he will bring a witness to testify that Tongo confessed in prison that Anni was shot accidentally. Tongo allegedly told a fellow prisoner that he, Qwabe and Mngeni had planned to hold Anni hostage and blackmail Shrien for a ransom, but when one of the kidnappers wanted to rape her, a row broke out and she was shot.

1.00pm: Shrien's defence lawyer Francois Van Zyl sums up taxi driver Zola Tongo's evidence. He argues that the killers have lied in court to have their sentences reduced. Shrien will testify that he took out a large amount of cash as a deposit for a helicopter trip and this was in Anni's handbag, says Van Zyl. He suggests, as well, that Tongo was not in the back of the taxi during the carjacking, as he claimed, but in the front passenger seat. "In summary the accused will say your evidence that he conspired with you to have his wife killed is simply not the truth," says Van Zyl. 

Midday: Van Zyl reveals that one of Tongo's fellow prisoners will testify that the taxi driver told him "what really happened". Prisoner Bernand Mitchell apparently contacted Dewani's legal team after talking to Tongo in prison. Mitchell allegedly asked why Tongo had killed Anni. "You said your accusers jeopardised the whole plan," Van Zyl tells Tongo. "The plan was to kidnap her and hold her hostage. One of them wanted to rape her. A quarrel ensued and a shot went off. You further told him that you thought of blackmailing Mr Dewani to kill his wife." Tongo allegedly told his fellow prisoner that he had agreed to stitch up Dewani to get a lesser prison sentence. Tongo tells the court the claims are "nonsense and all lies".

11.00am: Tongo claims that Shrien handed him cash after Anni's death, in payment for the murder. There is CCTV footage of the two men entering a room in Shrien's hotel for about a minute. But Van Zyl says Shrien handed him a plastic bag containing a thank you card and R1,000 (£56) out of pity after the traumatic night. Tongo says this is "nonsense" and insists that Shrien had only given him money – and that this was not the full amount he had promised for arranging Anni's murder. 

Van Zyl tells the court that two other people were in the room when Shrien gave Tongo the plastic bag. He asks if Tongo therefore looked for Shrien after he realised he had been underpaid. The driver claims he used "the corner of his eye" to look for Shrien as he left, but could not see him. The lawyer says there is CCTV footage of Shrien giving thank you cards to a police officer and family who helped him. "Sir, whether he sent a card to the minister or president, it doesn't concern me," said Tongo. "He never gave me a card."

Judge Jeanette Traverso had to interrupt the cross-examination this morning to warn Tongo to stop getting angry with Van Zyl's questioning. "I appreciate that you've been in the witness stand for a long time," she said. "But please try and be calm and answer the questions to the best of your ability. I know Mr Van Zyl must be irritating you to death but please try and stay calm."

Shrien Dewani trial: murderer Zola Tongo admits he was a 'fool'

3 November

The taxi driver who delivered Anni Dewani to two hitmen in Cape Town has admitted he was a "fool" for taking part in the murder plot for a relatively small amount of money.

Zola Tongo, who remains on the witness stand at the trial of British businessman Shrien Dewani, is one of three South African men who have already been convicted of Anni's murder. She was shot in a carjacking on her honeymoon in November 2010.

Tongo claims her husband Shrien masterminded the plan and that he had offered him, and the two hitmen, money to kill Anni.

Shrien denies the five charges against him, which include murder, kidnapping and obstructing justice.

Here's what we heard today:

10.00am: Tongo told the court that he would normally earn up to 40,000 rand (£2,260) in a busy month of driving people around in his taxi – yet he claims he was offered just R5,000 (£280) for fixing a murder and suffering damage to his car. Defence lawyer Francois Van Zyl asked him: "You were quite satisfied to take R5000 for your part in this conspiracy, without considering that there may be damage to your car or you may lose the car? Is that what you are saying?" To which Tongo replied: "That is what I initially said. I was a fool and I allowed myself to be misled." He says he did not consider until much later what would happen to his car, which was his only source of income.

12.30pm: Tongo has told the court that after picking up the Dewanis from their hotel he planned to take them straight to the Gugulethu township, where two hitmen were supposed to carry out a fake carjacking before killing Anni. However, there was no sign of them as he drove through so he carried on driving to a restaurant. He claimed Shrien texted him from the back seat asking what was going on. However, Van Zyl cut in to tell the court that there was no record whatsoever of a text being sent to Tongo at that time. "There was communication between me and the accused," said Tongo. "The fact that it doesn't appear on the record, I don't know."

Under cross-examination, Tongo admitted that more statements in his original affidavit are incorrect. For example, in his affidavit he claimed Shrien threatened to kill him if he did not kill Anni. Today he said this was untrue. Van Zyl pointed out that Tongo also told the court that he had decided which route he would take to Gugulethu, but in his affidavit he wrote that one of the hitmen told him which way to go. Tongo claimed that he is only just remembering some things. Judge Jeanette Traverso leant in to ask him: "So your statement is not 100 per cent correct?" He answered: "That is correct."

Shrien Dewani: middleman said killing was 'Islamic' thing

30 October

Monde Mbolombo, the middleman in the plot to kill Anni Dewani, joked that "Islamic people like to kill their wives" as he assisted in arranging her murder, the trial of Shrien Dewani has heard.

Three South African men – Mziwamadoda Qwabe, Xolile Mngeni and Zola Tongo – have been convicted for the honeymoon shooting.

A fourth South African, Mbolombo, admitted to putting Tongo in touch with the two gunmen, Mngeni and Qwabe, but claimed he had no further involvement in the murder. He received immunity from prosecution for helping convict the other men.

Anni was shot during a carjacking as taxi driver Tongo drove the couple through the Gugulethu township on 13 November 2010.

Tongo, who is currently in the witness stand at the Western Cape High Court, claims Shrien Dewani was behind the plot. He says Shrien met him at the airport when the couple arrived in Cape Town and later offered him money to organise Anni's murder.

Shrien and Anni, both Hindus, would have celebrated their fourth wedding anniversary this week. Shrien has pleaded not guilty to the five charges against him, which include murder, kidnapping and obstructing justice.

Here's what happened today:

10.00am: Defence lawyer Francois Van Zyl has continued to point out the inconsistencies in Zola Tongo's various statements made under oath. Tongo initially told police that he did not know the names of the killers, but he later said he had simply forgotten them. Van Zyl pointed out that one of killers was even saved as a contact on his phone. "As time went on, I remembered their names. It was a mistake. Everyone makes mistakes," Tongo told the court.

Tongo also claimed that he thought Anni was Shrien's business partner, not his wife, when he allowed his car to be hijacked by the two hitmen. Yet one of the hitmen, Mziwamadoda Qwabe, claims Tongo specifically said that a man wanted his wife killed. Van Zyl reads from the statement of Monde Mbolombo, who put Tongo in touch with the two hitmen. Mbolombo also said Tongo told him that a man wanted his wife killed. "I never said that to Monde," Tongo told the court. "This is the same Monde who said Islamic people like to kill their wives. I can't comment on what Monde said." Monde had allegedly made a joke to Tongo about Shrien and Anni, saying: "Eh! I wonder whether those are the Islamic people."

1.00pm: Van Zyl asks Tongo what trouble he took to get Monde's services. "Firstly, the trouble that I made, I phoned Monde with my phone, I went to Monde with my petrol," he told the court. "I sacrificed my life for this to happen. There are many troubles I went through. To add to that, my communication with the hotel ends in that manner. Monde also. We are paying with our jobs."

The lawyer later suggested Tongo had completely made up a claim that Shrien rang him on the morning of the murder. Van Zyl said there was no billing evidence to suggest Shrien had phoned him that morning. "I'm putting it to you there was no call. It's a figment of your imagination. It's a made up story," he said.

The court hears that Shrien had a panic attack this morning after press photographers banged on his car window. Judge Jeanette Traverso has urged the media to treat him with dignity. "We all want to see justice done," she said.

Shrien Dewani breaks down over honeymoon CCTV

29 October

Murder suspect Shrien Dewani broke down in tears in the dock today as the court was shown CCTV footage of him and his wife Anni on their honeymoon.

The video footage showed them smiling and hugging each other at their hotel in Cape Town just hours before Anni was killed.

Shrien denies arranging her murder with taxi driver Zola Tongo, who is in the witness stand today.

Tongo and two other South African men – Mziwamadoda Qwabe and Xolile Mngeni – have already been convicted in relation to her death. Tongo has admitted to driving the couple into the Gugulethu township knowing that Qwabe and Mngeni would hijack his car and shoot Anni. But he claims he was acting on the orders of Shrien.

Here's what happened today:

2.00pm: Video footage, taken from the Cape Grace Hotel in Cape Town, where the couple stayed on their honeymoon in November 2010, was shown to the court this morning. Shrien and Anni could be seen hugging affectionately in their last moments together at the hotel before they left for a night out. In court, Shrien initially smiled as he saw the footage and then the tears began to roll.

Another video clip showed the moment before Shrien allegedly handed over a bag of money to taxi driver Zola Tongo for arranging the murder, after Anni's death. Shrien claims he gave the money to Tongo because he "felt sorry for him" and did not at that point know he had anything to do with the shooting.

In cross-examination, Tongo admitted that he had made a number of mistakes in his original police statement. He confirmed that, as part of his plea agreement to testify against Shrien, he will be eligible for parole after nine years in prison. 

Defence lawyer Francois Van Zyl repeatedly pointed out contradictions between Tongo's evidence and previous statements given under oath. The witness claims Shrien approached him with a job offer, promising to send more customers his way, but told him he needed a "business partner" killed. Tongo contradicted himself several times about the times and places where the conversations took place. 

Shrien Dewani trial: dramatic carjacking described in court

28 October

A taxi driver today described the dramatic Cape Town carjacking in which Anni Dewani was killed in November 2010.

Zola Tongo is giving evidence in the trial of British businessman Shrien Dewani, who is accused of ordering his wife's murder on their honeymoon in South Africa.

Tongo, who has already been convicted for his part in arranging the murder, told the court that it was Shrien who wanted his wife killed in a fake carjacking.

Two other South African men – Mziwamadoda Qwabe and Xolile Mngeni – have also been convicted for Anni's murder. Shrien has pleaded not guilty to the five charges against him, which include murder, kidnapping and obstructing justice.

Here is what we have heard so far today:

11.00am: Taxi driver Zola Tongo returned to the witness stand, describing the moment when two hired killers, Qwabe and Mngeni, pretended to hijack his car. He had taken the couple to a restaurant in Somerset West, near Cape Town, earlier in the evening but warned the two hitmen off as it was too "wet" – meaning there were too many police around. 

Tongo claimed his knees became "weak" as he later drove Anni and Shrien to the Gugulethu township, where he had agreed a meeting point with the hitmen. One of them jumped onto the car bonnet and the other pointed a gun at him, he said. Tongo claimed that both men carried a firearm, which contradicts Qwabe's claim that he was not carrying a gun. The taxi driver said he ended up in the back of the car on the left-hand side, Shrien was in the middle and Anni was on the right. All three were ordered to hand over their mobile phones and Shrien was trying to comfort Anni who was crying as the car drove off. At one point the witness appeared to get confused about Anni, suggesting that she was not the same woman he had met the previous day.

9.00am: German escort Leopold Leisser was back in the witness stand again this morning. Following a plea from the prosecution, Judge Jeanette Traverso allowed him to answer questions on aspects other than Shrien's sexuality. The prosecution pointed out that Shrien was with Anni when he was seeing Leisser, which is therefore "relevant in determining how committed the accused was to the deceased". Leisser, who claims he met with Shrien on three occasions, told the court that he first learned of Anni's death from CNN. He contacted the police to let them know about his relationship with Shrien, but also sold his story to the media for £18,000.

Shrien Dewani: judge angry as male escort Leopold Leisser takes the stand

27 October

Male escort Leopold Leisser has been told to leave the witness stand by the judge overseeing the trial of honeymoon murder suspect Shrien Dewani.

Leisser was called by the prosecution in a bid to show that Shrien had a motive to kill his wife Anni Dewani in November 2010. However, Judge Jeanette Traverso suggested that his testimony was irrelevant as Shrien had already admitted to paying for Leisser's services and the state had not yet proved Shrien had planned to murder his wife.

Anni was shot dead after the couple's taxi was hijacked during their honeymoon in Cape Town. Three South African men – Zola Tongo, Mziwamadoda Qwabe and Xolile Mngeni – have already been convicted in relation to her death. Shrien has pleaded not guilty to the five charges against him, which include murder, kidnapping and obstructing justice.

Here is what we have heard so far today: 

1.00pm: Taxi driver Zola Tongo took the stand this afternoon, claiming that Shrien first approached him at the airport in Cape Town. After dropping the couple off at their hotel, Tongo said Shrien told him he had a "job" for him and asked him to wait in the hotel car park. Tongo claims Shrien later came down and told him he wanted someone killed. At the time, Shrien allegedly claimed it was a "business partner", a "woman" who would be arriving in Cape Town the following day. Tongo conferred with hotel receptionist Monde Mbolombo. He claimed Shrien later specified that he wanted it to look like the car had been hijacked. Tongo admitted that he went to meet Mziwamadoda Qwabe to organise the murder.

10.00am: German escort Leopold Leisser took the stand very briefly. The witness confirmed that he is 43 years old and has permanent residency in the UK. He runs his own business from Birmingham and has been working as a part-time professional gay escort since 2009. "My role was in fetish terms sadomasochistic role-play, a type of fetish of a sexual nature," he told the court.

However, the defence quickly objected after Leisser said he had agreed for Shrien to sleep over at his home, which he said was an "extremely unusual" arrangement. According to reports from the court, Judge Jeanette Traverso "angrily" agreed that she could not understand the relevance of that information. Shrien has already admitted to having sexual interactions with prostitutes, including Leisser.

The prosecution argued that Leisser would testify that Shrien was in two minds about whether to get married and this proves why he might have wanted to have his wife killed. However, the judge suggested that a motive would only be relevant once it has been proved that there was a plot between Shrien and the three murder convicts to kill his wife. She told Leisser to stand down, asking the prosecution to prepare a written statement instead and to call the next witness, who looks likely to be taxi driver Zola Tongo.

9.00am: Warrant officer Pieter Engelbrecht, a ballistics expert, has finished being cross-examined. Last week, the defence criticised the police for their "negligent" reconstruction of the shooting. Engelbrecht admitted that he only measured the arm of Xolile Mngeni, the man convicted of shooting Anni, two weeks ago and did not want to push him to extend his arm fully as he was in a wheelchair and very ill with a brain tumour. Mngeni has since died. Engelbrecht said he only took the gun measurements a few days ago, and not even those of the gun used in the shooting. The defence said it was clear Engelbrecht is not an expert witness and "a child could see the difference".

Shrien Dewani: police accused of 'negligence' over gun tests

22 October

A police ballistics expert was accused of "negligence" today in the trial of honeymoon murder suspect Shrien Dewani. Warrant officer Pieter Engelbrecht has been testifying about the trajectory of the shot that killed Shrien's wife Anni Dewani on 13 November 2010 when the couple's car was hijacked during their honeymoon in Cape Town. But the defence team called Engelbrecht's credibility into question and said he was "miles away from being an objective expert witness". 

Yesterday, the defence claimed it had medical notes to show that Anni had visited a doctor in the days before she died to tell him she was trying to conceive. Defence lawyer Francois Van Zyl said that this "flies in the face" of evidence given by Anni's cousin Sneha Mashru, who claimed Anni had been talking about a divorce.

Here is what we have heard today:

2.00pm: Warrant officer Pieter Engelbrecht, a ballistics expert, has been giving evidence. The taxi car seat and video footage of ballistics tests have also been shown in court. Englebrecht told the judge that he has been involved in the Dewani case since November 2012, when he was asked to retest exhibits for the Xolile Mngeni trial, including the gun, cartridge and bullet. Mngeni, who was sentenced to 25 years in prison for firing the shot that killed Anni, died of a brain tumour on Saturday.

The trajectory of the bullet, the single entrance wound and exit wound on Anni's neck and a hole in the back seat-rest suggests the shot was fired from the front left of the car, said Englebrecht. He said Anni, who was sitting in the back, must have "moved or leaned" to her right before the shot was fired. 

But in cross examination Shrien's lawyer, Van Zyl, criticised the police for their "negligent" reconstruction of the shooting. The analysis was carried out in a test car, not the actual taxi in which Anni was killed, and the position of the seats in the reconstruction was different from that on the night of the murder. Engelbrecht also admitted he had not measured Mngeni's arms until last week. Van Zyl accused him of being "miles away from being an objective expert witness". 

Shrien Dewani's behaviour was 'strange', claim witnesses

21 October

Two witnesses have accused honeymoon murder suspect Shrien Dewani of acting strangely after he and his wife had their taxi hijacked in Cape Town. Shrien claims he was forced out of the car on 13 November 2010. His wife Anni was later found shot dead. Anni's cousin Sneha Mashru has told the court that she became suspicious of Dewani in the weeks after the shooting, while a police sergeant, who took Shrien back to his hotel on the night of the murder, has also questioned his behaviour.

Here is what we have heard so far today at Western Cape High Court:

11.30am: South African Police Service Sergeant Cornelius Jacobus Mellet has taken the witness stand. He was with Dewani following the hijacking. He also says Shrien told him that Anni had wanted to see the township nightlife. Mellet said that as a married man himself, he found it "strange" that Dewani did not ask "what the police, in their power, were doing to find his wife". Shrien "looked tense and was sweating", said the witness. 

11.00am: Anni's cousin Sneha Mashru returns to the witness stand. She is asked how she expected Shrien to behave while tending to Anni's body. "I wanted to see the sadness, the grieving, the love," she says. Defence lawyer Van Zyl says Shrien admits that he is a "calculated perfectionist". He notes that his client spent hundreds of thousands of pounds on renovations for his home for Anni and had bought her around 100 saris.

10.00am: Anni's cousin Sneha Mashru is back in the witness stand this morning. She claims Anni and Shrien were pretending to be happy at their wedding. "Her exact words to me were: 'Sneha, do we look happy together? Because we have decided to act for the wedding.'" She told the court that Anni had said they were having problems in the bedroom. 

Mashru said Shrien spoke to her on the phone from South Africa before Anni's death and told her that Anni wanted to see the townships in Cape Town. Defence lawyer Francois Van Zyl asks why Mashru did not tell the police this in her statement. He notes that she also did not tell police that Shrien later told her that Anni had been shot because she was screaming. Mashru said that had not been her focus at the time.

Mashru returns to what she describes as Shrien's "strange" behaviour after Anni's death. Shrien apparently became angry when she asked if he should consult Anni's father about some of the funeral arrangements. "I am the husband. I make the decisions," he allegedly told her. The court adjourns as Mashru breaks down in tears recalling Anni's body before the funeral.

Shrien Dewani trial resumes after killer's death in prison

20 October

The trial of honeymoon murder suspect Shrien Dewani has resumed today after one of his wife's killers died in prison over the weekend.

Anni Dewani was shot on 13 November 2010 after the couple's car was hijacked during their honeymoon in Cape Town.

Xolile Mngeni, who was serving a 25-year prison sentence for firing the shot that killed Anni, died in the hospital wing of Goodwood Prison in Cape Town on Saturday. He was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumour soon after his arrest in 2011.

The National Prosecuting Authority has said Mngeni's death will not have an impact on the murder trial.

It was unclear if the prosecution had planned to call Mngeni to testify against Dewani, who is accused of organising his wife's murder. Franaaz Khan, a law lecturer from the University of KwaZulu-Natal, previously said that the other two men involved in the killing – Zola Tongo and Mziwamadoda Qwabe – were more likely to be relied upon as witnesses.

They both pleaded guilty and agreed to be state witnesses as part of their plea bargain, whereas Mngeni denied his guilt.

Qwabe gave evidence last week, but the trial was subsequently postponed because one of the prosecution lawyers had chicken pox.

The court has today heard from The Sun journalist Nick Parker and Anni's cousin Sneha Mashru.

Here is what we have heard so far:

2.30pm: Anni Dewani's cousin Sneha Mashru is giving evidence. She has told the Cape Town court that Anni was thinking of divorcing Shrien just days before she was killed. Mashru claims Anni was texting her from South Africa during her honeymoon, saying: "What should I do? I am really trying...." On 11 November, two days before she died, things appeared to improve. Anni text her cousin saying: "Hi, it's much better now. Going better than before. Hate the word divorce." That was the last time the cousins were in contact.

Mashru also said Shrien and Anni rarely saw each other while they were engaged and that, in her view, Shrien acted strangely after his wife was killed. Mashru told the court that Shrien had all the funeral arrangements on a spreadsheet. "He also said: 'Do not ever repeat this to anyone else. The reason why Anni was shot was because she was screaming,'" she said. "He said had she not been screaming, she wouldn't have been shot." 

In the days before the funeral, Mashru said she went to the funeral parlour to dress Anni and do her make-up. "Shrien's mum and aunt were there," she told the court. "He was treating the body, not with love. He was squeezing the bangles. She was swollen. I said: 'Stop, you're hurting her.' 

Mashru made a secret recording of a meeting held to clear the air between her family and the Dewanis after Anni's death. In the transcript, Shrien makes no mention of his meeting with Tongo, the taxi driver, who was later convicted for his part in organising Anni's murder, nor the money that Shrien later claimed he gave to Tongo because he "felt sorry for him". On cross-examination, Mashru says it was not an arranged marriage and that Anni did in fact love Shrien.

10.30am: The Sun reporter Nick Parker, who has been a journalist for 26 years, is testifying. He interviewed Shrien Dewani in Max Clifford's offices after Anni's death. A copy of the interview has been handed to the court. Parker says Shrien was "reasonably calm" at the beginning but became quite distressed as the interview progressed. Shrien said Anni wanted to see African nightlife and had wanted to do an African dance at a family member's baby shower, Parker tells the court

In December 2010, Parker also interviewed Leopold Leisser, a gay escort who claimed Shrien had paid him for sex and was desperate to get out of his marriage. Parker put the claims to Clifford, who was Shrien's publicist at the time. Shrien's solicitors responded that Leisser had invented the story and that their client was at the gym or with his family at the times specified. Shrien's defence lawyer Francois Van Zyl tells the court that the solicitors' letter was written on the instructions of Shrien's brother Preyen. He suggests that Leisser was paid £30,000 for the story. Parker says he cannot recall.

Sneha Mashru, Anni's cousin, takes the witness stand. She tells the court that she and Anni grew up together and were more like sisters than cousins. "She confided in me and told me things she wouldn't tell her sister/brother," she says.

Shrien Dewani: five key quotes from the murder trial so far

17 October

The trial of honeymoon murder suspect Shrien Dewani began with a surprise statement about his sexuality and has been punctuated by dramatic moments ever since. It has taken four years to get the British millionaire into court for the trial, following a long extradition process from the UK to South Africa. His wife Anni Dewani was shot dead on 13 November 2010 after the couple were driven in a taxi through a township near Cape Town during their honeymoon. Shrien is accused of ordering the murder. Three South African men – Zola Tongo, Mziwamadoda Qwabe and Xolile Mngeni – have already been convicted in relation to her death. Shrien has pleaded not guilty to the five charges against him, which include murder, kidnapping and obstructing justice.

With the trial due to resume on Monday, here are five key quotes so far:

Shrien Dewani: "I have had sexual interaction with both males and females"

On the very first day of the trial Shrien admitted that he considered himself bisexual. Rumours of his "secret homosexuality" had circulated since just after Anni's death, but he had always denied them. In a statement, read out by his lawyer Francois Van Zyl, he said his sexual interactions with men were "mostly physical experiences" or email chats with people he met online or in clubs and included prostitutes. The admission appears to have taken the sting out the state's case, which was expected to argue that Shrien was gay and plotted to have his wife killed to escape his marriage.

Mziwamadoda Qwabe: "There was a husband who wanted his wife killed"

Qwabe, who is currently serving 25 years in prison for Anni's murder, is seen as a key witness in the trial. He told the court that a price of 15,000 rand, just £834 at today's exchange rate, was agreed to kill her. Asked if he knew ahead of the murder that Dewani wanted her dead, Qwabe said he was told "there was a husband who wanted his wife killed". The two other convicts, Qwabe's associate Mngeni and the Dewanis' taxi driver Tongo, may also give evidence against Shrien.

Shrien Dewani: "I really do love you... I want to be with you forever"

At the beginning of the trial Van Zyl read out a letter from Shrien to Anni, written after an "angry disagreement" on 24 May 2010. Taken at face value, the letter suggests Shrien was in love with his wife, despite the fact that he admits they argued frequently. It conflicts with claims by Leopold Leisser, a male escort based in the UK, who said Shrien was "desperate" to get out of his marriage. Sneha Mashru, Anni's cousin, also reportedly told British police that they had a troubled relationship. It is possible that Leisser and Mashru will be called to testify for the state.

Francois Van Zyl: "It has all the hallmarks of a shot that went off when it wasn't meant to go off"

In a surprise move, Shrien's defence lawyer cast doubt on the belief that Qwabe's associate Mngeni was the one to shoot Anni. Van Zyl said that gunpowder found on Qwabe's gloves suggested it was him who murdered Anni. "The injuries caused by that bullet are not what the pathologists would normally see in an execution-type killing," said Van Zyl. The lawyer suggested that Qwabe killed Anni by accident as he tried to pull her out of the car, possibly to rape her in the scrubland. This would provide a very different explanation for Anni's death to the one put forward by the state. Qwabe denied Van Zyl's claims.

Judge Jeanette Traverso: "Why is his sexuality relevant?"

On Tuesday, the judge stopped the prosecution from reading out a series of sexually graphic emails from Shrien to a mystery third person. Prosecutor Adrian Mopp tried to argue that they were relevant because they showed Shrien was conflicted about whether to get married or to come out as gay. "Obviously it is not a motive to kill but the man expresses a conflict within himself," Mopp told the judge. But Traverso said that, because of Dewani's admission, his sexuality was no longer in dispute and ruled the evidence inadmissible. This came as a shock to the prosecutors, who will potentially have to rethink who they call as witnesses.

Shrien Dewani: graphic emails barred by judge in blow for state

14 October

The judge in the trial of British millionaire Shrien Dewani has prevented a series of sexually graphic emails from being read out in court. In excluding the evidence put forward by the prosecution, Judge Jeanette Traverso questioned whether Shrien's conflicted feelings about his sexuality would really provide a motive to kill.

Dewani is accused of ordering his wife Anni's murder on their honeymoon in South Africa on 13 November 2010. The couple were held at gunpoint while being driven in a taxi through a township near Cape Town. Shrien was thrown from the taxi and Anni was later found dead in the back seat. The state is expected to argue that Shrien, from Bristol, is gay and plotted to have his wife killed to escape a marriage that he was pushed into by his family.

Here is what we have heard today: 

Midday: Mark Roberts leaves the witness stand. Next up is South African police officer George Stefanus. He was called on the night of the murder by taxi driver Zola Tongo. Stefanus says Shrien was "emotional" when he met him at Cape Grace hotel that night. Shrien apparently told him that his wife Anni "insisted" she wanted to see life in Cape Town's townships.

However, defence lawyer Francois Van Zyl suggests that the statement taken by Stefanus on behalf of Shrien that night was not wholly accurate. Van Zyl confirms that Dewani did not read through this initial statement and simply signed it and that the statement was not sworn under oath. The lawyer says the word "township" written in the statement was not even in his client's vocabulary at that time. The court has also heard how Stefanus lost his pocket-book containing his notes from interviewing Dewani on the night of the murder. 

Another witness, the owner of a jewellery shop who buys and sells coins, begins to tell the court how she exchanged money with Dewani. However, the court is abruptly adjourned until Monday with the news that one of the prosecution team has chickenpox.

10.00am: The first witness on the stand today is Mark Roberts, a computer expert from the UK's National Crime Agency, transferred from the Metropolitan Police. He investigated Shrien's laptop and found a lot of email activity between the defendant and a "third person" whose identity is being protected. They exchanged 53 messages between June and August 2009, says Roberts.

Shrien's defence lawyer Francois Van Zyl objects to the emails being read out in court. He says they are "highly prejudicial" to his client because of their graphic sexual nature. The state argues that the emails provide "context" and an "insight" into the relationship Shrien had with the third party. Judge Jeanette Traverso says that the relationship pre-dates the offence by more than a year and questions the relevance of the emails. "[Shrien] was conflicted about whether to get married or whether to come out," says the prosecutor.  "And what does that provide, motive to kill?" asks Judge Traverso. The state says it is "not a motive to kill" but shows that Shrien was conflicted within himself. "That's true for many people," says the judge.

Van Zyl says that the email conversations relate to sexual preferences and go into graphic detail. The "third person" tells Dewani that marriage is a "serious commitment, because it usually involves children, but if he wants to do, he will support him".

After a short break, Judge Traverso rules that the emails are inadmissible. Shrien's sexuality is "irrelevant" because he has already admitted his bisexuality and the graphic content is unnecessary, says Traverso.

Shrien Dewani trial: defence makes ransom and rape claims

13 October

The defence lawyer for honeymoon murder suspect Shrien Dewani has accused a state witness of accidentally shooting Anni Dewani as he tried to pull her out of a taxi to rape her. Mziwamadoda Qwabe, who is serving 25 years in prison for charges related to Anni's murder, is currently giving evidence in court.

Two other men – Zola Tongo and Xolile Mngeni – have also been convicted of charges related to Anni's murder. It was believed Mngeni was the one who fired the shot that killed her on 13 November 2010. Anni and Shrien were held at gunpoint while being driven in a taxi through a township near Cape Town while on their honeymoon. Shrien was thrown from the taxi and Anni was later found dead in the back seat. The state is expected to argue that Shrien, from Bristol, is gay and plotted to have his wife killed to escape a marriage that he was pushed into by his family.

But today defence lawyer Francois Van Zyl has claimed it was Qwabe who shot Anni, not Mngeni, and that the murder happened by accident: 

2.00pm: The court is hearing from Simon Johnson, a British IT expert who worked for Gaydar, which calls itself "the premier gay dating site". Johnson explains to the court how Gaydar works, describing it as a "dating and personals website" with profiles, chat rooms and pictures. He is asked specifically about the Asiansubguy account used by Shrien. The last log-in was when Shrien removed the account on 21 November 2010, eight days after Anni's death. 

The court hears that it cost Shrien £60 for one year's Gaydar membership. On his profile, he described himself as a single gay man and a "passive, sub guy" looking for "single gay man, gay couple, bi-couple, group". Questions turn to exactly how a Gaydar profile can be accessed.  Johnson says that sometimes a Gaydar user's details are saved for the next session, but they always have to manually click to log in. This potentially undermines any attempt by the defence to argue that Shrien's computer automatically logged him onto the site during his honeymoon.

11.00am: Van Zyl casts doubt on the evidence being given by prosecution witness Mziwamadoda Qwabe. He claims there were two firearms in the car, not one, as Qwabe has claimed. The lawyer also suggests Qwabe's associate Mngeni was in the back of the car with the Dewanis not in the front as Qwabe has previously said. Van Zyl asks Qwabe why the gloves he wore on the night were found with gunshot residue on them. Qwabe says there may have been explosive residue on them from when the gun went off in the car or when he retrieved the bullet casing. 

In a dramatic new line of questioning, the defence lawyer suggests it was Qwabe, not Mngeni, who shot Anni as he was trying to get her out of car to rape her. He suggests Shrien was set free because the carjackers planned to demand a ransom. During his cross examination, Van Zyl has suggested that Shrien will take the witness box at some point in the trial. Qwabe denies that it was him who fired the shot.

Shrien Dewani described himself as 'perverted' on Gaydar

10 October

Shrien Dewani, the man accused of arranging the murder of his new wife Anni while on their honeymoon in Cape Town, described himself as "submissive, filthy-minded and perverted" in his Gaydar profile, court documents have revealed.

Dewani used the name "Asiansubguy24" for his profile on the gay dating website, the Daily Mirror reports.

The profile said that he was hoping for "one-on-one sex, group sex and other activities" with individuals or couples aged between 18 and 99 years. He also stated that he wanted to sleep with single gay men, bisexual men, groups of gay men and bi or gay couples. 

Under the "looking for" section, Dewani had specified "same as me, filthy and perverted but safe".

Shrien, 34, is accused of ordering the killing of his wife in a staged carjacking when the couple were on holiday in South Africa for their honeymoon in November 2010. Citing evidence that he had visited male prostitutes as well as using gay websites and mobile apps, prosecutors are expected to argue that Shrien was trying to find a way out of his marriage.

On Thursday, the high court in Cape Town heard evidence from Mziwamadoda Qwabe, a South African who is serving 25 years in jail for the murdering Anni.

Shrien, who lost a three-year legal battle in the UK to avoid having to face trial in South Africa, took notes and repeatedly shook his head during Qwabe's testimony this week, Reuters reports.

On Thursday, the defendant looked uncomfortable, according to The Guardian. He "rarely sat still, his eyes darting around the high court in Cape Town", the paper reports, and he "grimaced and had to leave the dock briefly because of a stomach upset".

The court adjourned after lunch yesterday following further complaints of stomach cramps, this time from Qwabe. The case will resume on Monday.

               

Shrien Dewani 'surfed gay sites day after Anni's body found'

9 October

Honeymoon murder suspect Shrien Dewani surfed gay and fetish websites the day after his wife's body was discovered, according to newly released court documents.

The British millionaire, accused of arranging his wife Anni's murder on their honeymoon in Cape Town, is in court for the third day of his trial.

It has been revealed in a court dossier of admissions made by the defendant that he had also looked at the gay dating website Gaydar as he and his wife waited for their connecting flight to Cape Town before Anni was murdered.

Prosecutors are expected to argue that Shrien paid for his wife to be killed in a fake carjacking because he was secretly gay and wanted to get out of his marriage.

Shrien has admitted that he is bisexual and visited male prostitutes but denies the charges against him and insists he loved Anni.

One of his wife's kidnappers Mziwamadoda Qwabe, who is serving a 25-year prison sentence for his part in the murder, has been giving evidence in court against Shrien. Yesterday, under cross-examination from defence counsel Francois van Zyl, Qwabe admitted he had previously lied under oath.

Here is what we have heard so far today:

Midday: The trial faced several delays this morning. Shrien fell ill and then there were technical problems with the court's microphones again.

Defence lawyer Van Zyl has been picking holes in Qwabe's previous statements to the courts and attempting to portray him as an unreliable witness. Van Zyl has also been trying to establish the role played by Monde Mbolombo, a hotel clerk alleged to have been a "middleman" in the murder. The defence lawyer claims Mbolombo was more than just a link between Qwabe and the Dewanis' taxi driver Zola Tongo. The court was shown phone records between Mbolombo, Tongo and Qwabe in the lead-up to the murder. Qwabe says Mbolombo called him on the morning of the murder to say that the "job must be done that night".

Shrien Dewani: murder convict reveals price on Anni's head

8 October

Anni Dewani was murdered for the price of £834, according to one of her killers giving evidence in court today.

The trial of British millionaire Shrien Dewani resumed in Cape Town today, with the court hearing evidence from the prosecution's second witness Mziwamadoda Qwabe.

Qwabe, 29, was jailed for 25 years after pleading guilty to Anni's murder, as well as robbery, kidnapping and the illegal possession of a firearm. He claims Shrien organised the contract killing.

It has been almost four years since Anni was shot on 13 November 2010. Qwabe was one of three men convicted in relation to the murder in 2012, but it took a lengthy extradition process to get 34-year-old Shrien to South Africa.

The couple were held at gunpoint while being driven in a taxi through a township near Cape Town. Shrien was thrown from the taxi and Anni was later found dead in the back seat.

The state is expected to argue that Shrien, from Bristol, is gay and plotted to have his wife killed to escape a marriage that he was pushed into by his family. It also emerged this week that a British parliamentary aide who claims to have had gay sex with Shrien is expected to give evidence.

On the first day of his trial on Monday, Shrien admitted he was bisexual and had visited male prostitutes, but denied the charges against him and insisted that he loved his wife.

Here's what we have heard today:

11.00am: After a one-day break and various technical delays with microphones this morning, Mziwamadoda Qwabe has taken the witness stand. He told the court that a price of 15,000 rand, just £834 at today's exchange rate, was agreed to kill Anni.

Qwabe said taxi driver Zola Tongo had told him that "someone wanted somebody killed" and asked if he knew anyone who could help. Qwabe said he agreed to meet Tongo at a shopping centre, where Tongo told him there was "a husband who wanted his wife killed". The witness described another meeting with his friend "Wati" (Xolile Mngeni) and Tongo, in which they organised the fake carjacking. "We agreed on the route we would take," he said. "We agreed where the hijacking was going to happen. That was more or less what we discussed that day. I was in the vehicle for 20 to 30 minutes. A lady would be killed and it had to look like a hijacking. Nothing would happen to the husband and Zola."

Qwabe said he took the wheel during the carjacking on 13 November 2010, while his friend Wati sat in the passenger seat and Tongo sat in the back telling the couple to stay quiet. "We ordered Zola out of the car... He told us the money was in the pouch behind the front passenger door," said the witness. Qwabe claimed that as they forced Shrien out of the car, he had told the carjackers he would go to one of the houses and report the incident. Qwabe said he then heard a gunshot while he was driving and his accomplice admitted he had shot "the lady".

Qwabe said that when he counted the money, there was only 10,000 rand, which was shared between him and Wati equally. He told the court that after the murder he went out "socialising" and repeated again that "the money was short" and he wanted the other 5,000 rand.

Shrien Dewani: life exposed in 'uncomfortable' detail in court

7 October

The lifestyle of British millionaire Shrien Dewani was revealed in "uncomfortable" detail on the first day of his trial for the murder of his wife on their honeymoon in South Africa.

After four years of legal battles and delays, the trial finally got underway yesterday in Cape Town, where Dewani is accused of hiring three men to kill his wife in a staged carjacking on 13 November 2010.

On Monday he denied the fives charges against him, which include murder, kidnapping and defeating the ends of justice, and within just a few hours of proceedings, intimate details of his sexuality and luxurious lifestyle were laid bare.

In a statement read out by his lawyer, Dewani revealed that he was "bisexual" and has had "sexual interaction with both males and females".

The court heard how his sexual interactions with men were "mostly physical experiences or email chats" with people he "met online or in clubs, including prostitutes such as Leopold Leisser".

Karen Allen, the BBC's Africa correspondent, says the admission may serve to "neutralise" some of the "fevered" press speculation in recent months about gay escort Leisser, who claims Shrien paid him for sex. She predicts that the trial is likely to see a "detailed public examination" of Anni and Shrien's relationship.

Leisser previously claimed Shrien was desperate to get out of his marriage to Anni, but Shrien yesterday insisted that he was in love with his wife, despite the fact that they were "both headstrong and often argued with each other".

Allen says Shrien "stood upright and for the most part composed on the first day of his trial", although he "sobbed quietly" when one of his love letters to Anni was read out in court.

The court also heard how Shrien hired a private jet to propose to Anni in Paris, held a week-long stag party in Las Vegas and organised a lavish wedding in Mumbai.

His millionaire lifestyle was "revealed in uncomfortable detail", writes David Smith in The Guardian. For the most part Shrien was "composed and businesslike, but there were glimpses of tears and brittleness", he says.

The defendant, who was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress, anxiety attacks and depression after his wife's murder, appeared "unusually sensitive to noise, twitching on occasion, and wore headphones to amplify whoever was addressing the court", adds Smith.

Shrien's bisexual revelation was plastered across most of South Africa's newspapers today, but a few focused on the "harrowing" video of Anni's body shown in court.

"The full weight and horror of the murder was brought into the courtroom when police video footage of the crime scene where Anni was found was screened," says Marianne Thamm at South Africa's online newspaper the Daily Maverick.

Thamm says there were "gasps" from the courtroom at the sight of Anni "slumped in the back seat of the silver VW Sharan, still wearing the black cocktail dress and strappy high heels she had dressed herself in only a few hours earlier".

Meanwhile, the Daily Beast describes how her hair was "blowing in the breeze" as the camera panned from her "diamante-encrusted heels to her blood-soaked body, which was punctured by bullets in her left arm and her throat". 

 

Shrien Dewani reveals he is bisexual on first day of murder trial

6 October

British businessman Shrien Dewani, accused of ordering his wife's murder on their honeymoon in South Africa, has admitted he is bisexual on the first day of his trial.

It has been almost four years since Anni Dewani was shot during a carjacking on 13 November 2010. Three men were convicted in relation to the murder in 2012, but it took a lengthy extradition process to get 34-year-old Shrien to South Africa.

The couple were held at gunpoint while being driven in a taxi through a township near Cape Town. Shrien was thrown from the taxi and Anni was later found dead in the back seat. The state is expected to argue that Shrien, from Bristol, is gay and plotted to have his wife killed to escape a marriage that he was pushed into by his family.

Shrien was diagnosed with depression and post-traumatic stress disorder following his wife's death, but was finally deemed medically fit to stand trial a few months ago.

Here is what the court has heard so far:

Midday: The court has watched video footage of the crime scene and heard details of how Anni Dewani was killed. The first witness for the prosecution, pathologist Dr Janette Verster, said Anni died from a "gunshot wound at close range". Shrien and members of Anni's family were visibly distressed by the evidence, which included images of Anni's body on the back seat of the taxi. The victim suffered a gunshot wound to the left hand, chest-wall and possibly on left side of her neck, said Verster.

10.30am: Shrien Dewani has pleaded not guilty to the five charges against him, which include murder, kidnapping and obstructing justice. In a statement, read by his defence lawyer Francois van Zyl, Shrien admitted: "I've had sexual interaction with both males and females. I consider myself bisexual." He told the court that his sexual interactions with males were "mostly physical experiences or email chats with people I met online or in clubs, including prostitutes". However, he insisted he was "instantly physically attracted" to Swedish-born bride Anni and that his "whole world came crashing down" when she was found shot dead.

The court heard about the couple's volatile relationship, including an "angry disagreement" in May 2010, but a letter sent later from Shrien said: "I really do love you. Want to be with you forever." Shrien's statement admitted that Anni wanted to call off the wedding because he was "too controlling" and that the couple "frustrated each other", but it said they "were in love".

Shrien said he had met taxi driver Zola Tongo, who is serving a prison sentence for his part in Anni's murder, when they arrived in South Africa. Tongo had helped change £5,000 for Shrien in order to get a "good market rate" and had also bought helicopter tickets on Shrien's behalf as a surprise for Anni, the court was told. Shrien was carrying 10,000 rand, around £550, for a meal and the taxi journey when Tongo's car was stopped by carjackers on the night of the murder.

Dewani said he recalled somebody waving a gun in the air and telling him to lie down. "We were both terrified and immediately complied with his demands. I was lying half on top of Anni. Another person was behind the steering wheel. I do not know where Tongo was at that stage," he said. Shrien said he refused to get out of the car when asked, but a gun was held to his head until he complied. He then tried to find help before the police took him back to his hotel. Shrien said he later planned to give some money to Tongo because he felt sorry for him.

8.30am: Shrien Dewani has arrived at Western Cape High Court. Crowds were waiting outside, vying for a place in the small public gallery.

Last night, Anni's family, who are in Cape Town for the trial, pleaded with Shrien to "tell the truth" about what happened. "It has been a period of torture and we have missed her each and every minute of each and every day," said Anni's father, Vinod Hindocha. "Now that I am back here, all I ask for is the full story and justice."

South Africa's National Prosecution Authority has kept a tight lid on the list of witnesses due to give evidence at the trial, but local media have been speculating about who may be called.

The three convicted South African men – Zola Tongo, Mziwamadoda Qwabe and Xolile Mngeni – are expected to testify against Shrien. Sneha Hindocha, Anni's cousin, may also be called by the state. She reportedly told police of the couple's troubled relationship before their wedding. Prosecutors are also likely to call Leopold Leisser, a gay German escort based in the UK, who claims Shrien had paid him for sex, reports News 24

Jeanette Traverso, the second most senior judge in the Western Cape, has been assigned to the trial, which is expected to last two months.

 

Shrien Dewani: what we know 

What happened on 13 November 2010?

Newlywed couple Shrien and Anni Dewani were kidnapped at gunpoint at 11pm while being driven in a taxi through Gugulethu, a township near Cape Town, during their honeymoon. Shrien Dewani was released unharmed at midnight in the Harare neighbourhood, but Anni's body was found the next day on the back seat of the abandoned taxi. She had suffered a fatal gunshot wound to her neck.

Who shot Anni Dewani?

Xolile Mngeni, 23 at the time of the murder, was convicted in November 2012 of firing the shot that killed Anni. The judge described Mngeni, who suffered from a rare form of brain cancer, as an "evil person" and sentenced him to life in prison. Two other men – Zola Tongo, 31 at the time, and Mziwamadoda Qwabe, 26 – were also convicted in connection to the murder. Tongo, the taxi driver who arranged the shooting, was jailed for 18 years, while Qwabe, Mngeni's accomplice, was jailed for 25 years.

What are the charges against Dewani?

Dewani is charged with five counts relating to the murder of his wife: conspiracy to commit kidnapping, robbery with aggravating circumstances, murder, kidnapping and defeating the ends of justice. Tongo alleges that Dewani offered him 15,000 rand to have his wife killed. But Dewani's family, who at one point enlisted the services of PR spin master Max Clifford, describe the allegations as "totally ludicrous".

Why has it taken so long for Dewani to be tried?

Dewani spent years fighting extradition to South Africa, with his lawyers claiming he suffered from acute stress disorder and depression. In March 2014, the High Court refused to allow any further appeal and the following month he arrived in South Africa. His wife's sister Ami Denborg said today's ruling was a "relief" for the family after waiting for so long. "I know this autumn is going to be tough for us, but we still want the trial to start so that we can get the information we need – we can get to know what really happened," she said. "It feels like we're moving forward. It's still a long way to go but at least we're taking steps in the right direction, and this feels like a huge step in the right direction."

How did Anni and Shrien Dewani meet?

Shrien Dewani, from Westbury-on-Trym, near Bristol, was privately educated at Bristol Grammar School, studied economics at Manchester University and qualified as an accountant. He left a job at Deloitte in London to return to Bristol to help run his family firm, PSP Healthcare, which owns a number of care homes. Swedish-born Anni Hindocha was an engineering graduate and part-time model. She met Dewani while staying with her cousin Sneha in Britain in 2009. Dewani proposed the following year in June, flying Anni to Paris and giving her a £25,000 diamond engagement ring. They married in October in an extravagant Hindu wedding in Mumbai. Less than two weeks later, Anni was shot dead.

What can we expect from the trial?

Text messages: The court is likely to look at phone records and text messages between Dewani and Tongo, but also from Anni to her family. It has been claimed that Anni texted her cousin Sneha Hindocha a series of anguished texts in the run-up to her wedding, including one that said: "I don't want to marry him... I'm going to be unhappy for the rest of my life." Another report claimed that Anni had told her cousin that she had sex with Shrien five times in one night, but her family claim this is untrue.

CCTV and bank transactions: During the extradition appeal, Ben Watson, the British lawyer representing the South African government, claimed that Dewani had withdrawn £1,000 cash on his Mastercard before the murder. Watson said that CCTV footage also showed Dewani meeting Tongo several times before the murder, and again afterwards when they appear to exchange money. Dewani's family insists Dewani was innocently paying Tongo for his services as a taxi driver.

Dewani's finances: Accounts emerged showing that Dewani's company was £4.1 million in debt, reports the Daily Telegraph, but the company's auditors have made a statement to say it has "absolutely no cause for any concern with the trading position of the company, its funding strategy or its financial standing".

Witnesses: Qwabe and Tongo have agreed to testify against Dewani as part of their plea bargain. Some of Anni's relatives, including her cousin Sneha, are also likely to be called as witnesses. Leopold Leisser, a German escort based in the UK, may also appear as a witness for the state. He claims Dewani told him he needed to "find a way out of getting married" and that he would be "disowned" by his family if he attempted to break off his engagement. However, Dewani's family told The Independent there is clear evidence to refute Leisser's claims and also insisted there was no pre-nuptial agreement, no dowry and no pressure from the family to marry.

Shrien Dewani trial: judge Jeanette Traverso selected

29 September

A judge has been assigned to the trial of Shrien Dewani, the British businessman accused of murdering his wife while on honeymoon in South Africa.

Jeanette Traverso, the second most senior judge in the Western Cape, was selected to hear the trial at the Western Cape High Court from 6 October.

Traverso was one of the first women to assume a leadership position within the South African judiciary, reports IOL News. She was appointed to the Bench in South Africa in 1994, and in January 2001 became the first woman to be appointed deputy judge president.

Traverso, who by her own admission comes from a privileged Afrikaner background, once featured in a documentary called Courting Justice, about the lives of South African female judges, alongside Judge Thokozile Matilda Masipa, who convicted Oscar Pistorius of culpable homicide earlier this month.

Traverso also made headlines three years ago when she was accidentally hit by a golf cart by an advocate at the Royal Cape Golf Club. She punctured a lung, broke a "long list" of bones, from her pelvis to her shoulder, and had to be put into a medically induced coma.

With no juries in South Africa, it will be Traverso's job to determine whether Dewani ordered the murder of his 28-year-old wife, Anni, who was shot in Cape Town in 2010.

Dewani, who denies the charges against him, was extradited from the UK in April after being detained in a hospital for depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. He was deemed mentally fit to stand trial after undergoing a 30-day mental health evaluation, similar to that undertaken by Pistorius.

Three South African men – Zola Tongo, Mziwamadoda Qwabe and Xolile Mngeni – are all serving prison sentences for convictions relating to Anni's murder.

Shrien Dewani lawyers request phone records of jailed men

10 September

Defence lawyers for the British businessman accused of ordering his wife's murder on their honeymoon in South Africa have requested the phone records of two men already in jail over the killing.

Shrien Dewani, who faces charges of murder and kidnapping, was in court yesterday for a hearing ahead of his trial at Western Cape High Court, which is expected to last from 6 October until 12 December.

The 34-year-old, who has been receiving treatment at Valkenberg State Psychiatric Hospital in Cape Town, denies paying three men to kill his 28-year-old wife Anni Dewani in the city in November 2010.

The three men – Zola Tongo, Mziwamadoda Qwabe and Xolile Mngeni – are all serving prison sentences for convictions relating to the murder.

Judge Robert Henney yesterday ordered the Department of Correctional Services to hand over prison records related to Tongo and Qwabe and ordered Tongo's lawyer to hand over his client's phone records. These will provide a detailed account of billing but not the content of conversations.

Marianne Thamm at South Africa's Eyewitness News says the defence's request suggests Dewani might claim he was somehow set up by Tongo and another middle man.

Thamm says Dewani appeared "relaxed and focused" in the dock, a big change from his previous court appearances when he seemed "bewildered and excitable, flinching at the slightest noise in the court".

Last month, a mental health panel found that Dewani was fit to stand trial. According to the Daily Express, the report found no signs of clinical depression but said Dewani can suffer panic attacks. He reportedly engaged well with people and was often affable and articulate but could be tearful and also mentioned having panic attacks.

"During the observation period he managed to follow a demanding daily routine, which included extensive consultations with his legal representatives, clinical interviews and testing," wrote the panel. "He impressed as being of superior intelligence. He seems to have perfectionist personality traits with underlying anxiety."

Shrien Dewani fit to stand trial for murder: what next?

15 August

Shrien Dewani, the British businessman accused of ordering his wife's murder on their honeymoon in South Africa, has been found fit to stand trial.

The 34-year-old, who has been receiving treatment at Valkenberg State Psychiatric Hospital in Cape Town, denies paying three men to kill his 28-year-old wife in the city in November 2010.

Following a 30-day mental health evaluation, similar to that undertaken by Oscar Pistorius, a panel of psychiatric experts have decided he is mentally fit to stand trial. The defence did not dispute the findings and a pre-trial hearing was set for 9 September. Dewani will be detained at Valkenberg hospital until then.

 

Shrien Dewani: will shooter's critical illness affect the trial?

11 June 

The man convicted of shooting Anni Dewani on her honeymoon in Cape Town, is said to be critically ill in hospital, prompting questions about the trial of the victim's husband, Shrien Dewani.

Xolile Mngeni, who is serving a life sentence in Cape Town, was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumour soon after his arrest in 2011. The BBC says he was believed to have been recovering, but was then admitted to hospital this week in a "serious, critical condition".

News of his ill health comes a week before Shrien Dewani is due back in court, accused of ordering his wife's murder.

Dewani, a 34-year-old businessman from Bristol, was extradited to South Africa in April and is currently receiving mental health treatment at Valkenberg Hospital in Cape Town. His case has been adjourned to 20 June after lawyers argued last month that he was not yet fit to stand trial.

Anni's body was found with a single gunshot wound to the neck after she and her husband were kidnapped while travelling in a taxi through the outskirts of Cape Town in 2010. He was released unharmed and denies any involvement in his wife's murder.

Commentators in South Africa have been turning to legal experts to determine whether Mngeni's ill health will have an impact on Dewani's trial.

Gareth Newham, head of the governance, crime and justice division at the Institute for Security Studies, said it would depend on the importance of Mngeni’s testimony. He told the Daily News, a newspaper based in KwaZulu-Natal, that it was rare for the state to rely solely on the evidence of one witness.

The state would not "knowingly prosecute a case they don't have a chance of winning", he said. "Eighty to ninety percent of the cases prosecuted are successful convictions."

With the prosecution's witness list yet to be released, some experts believe Mngeni might not even be called to testify.

Franaaz Khan, a law lecturer from the University of KwaZulu-Natal, says that the other two men involved in the killing – Zola Tongo and Mziwamadoda Qwabe – are more likely to be relied upon as witnesses. They both pleaded guilty and agreed to be state witnesses as part of their plea bargain, whereas Mngeni denied his guilt.

Shrien Dewani not yet fit for honeymoon murder trial

12 May

THE BRITISH millionaire accused of ordering his wife's murder on their honeymoon in South Africa has had his case postponed after lawyers argued he is not yet fit to stand trial.

Shrien Dewani, 34, from Bristol, who was extradited to South Africa last month, appeared in a Cape Town court this morning accused of ordering the murder of his wife Anni Dewani in 2010.

Psychiatrists said he was co-operative but lacked the ability to concentrate for any length of time, his defence lawyer Francois van Zyl told the Western Cape High Court. His case was adjourned to 20 June.

Dewani, who is charged with conspiracy to commit kidnapping, robbery with aggravating circumstances, murder, kidnapping, and defeating the ends of justice, will remain at Valkenberg Hospital to receive further treatment for his mental health.

Before his extradition to South Africa last month, Dewani was detained in a hospital in Britain for depression and post-traumatic stress disorder, reports the BBC.

The millionaire businessman claims he and his wife were kidnapped at gunpoint as they drove through the Gugulethu township in a taxi. Dewani escaped unharmed, but his wife was found shot dead in the abandoned car the next day.

He is accused of paying three men, Zola Tongo, Mziwamadoda Qwabe and Xolile Mngeni, to kill her. All three are already serving jail terms in connection to the murder.

The prosecution's witness list is yet to be released, but local media have been speculating about who will be called to testify. South Africa's Sunday Times believe that Leopold Leisser, a London-based male escort, will be the prosecution's key witness.

Leisser is expected to support claims that Dewani paid for his services and plotted to have his bride killed in order to get out of their arranged marriage. Dewani has repeatedly denied the charges.

The South African government agreed to assess Dewani's mental state and fitness for trial as part of its extradition deal with the UK. If within 18 months he is still deemed unfit to stand trial, he will be sent back to England.

Shrien Dewani extradited to face South African trial

8 April 

SHRIEN DEWANI, the British man accused of hiring an assassin to kill his new wife while on their honeymoon, is expected to be charged with her murder within hours of arriving in Cape Town this morning.

The 33-year-old businessman is accused of arranging the murder of 28-year-old Anni Dewani, who was shot dead in a taxi on the outskirts of Cape Town in November, 2010. Dewani denies the charges.

The Bristol man left the country last night on a private charter flight paid for by the South African government after losing his appeal against extradition at the start of March. His flight arrived in Cape Town early this morning.

He is expected to be transferred from a holding cell to Cape Town High Court to appear before a judge at 10am. He will then spend the night in Valkenberg Hospital, a psychiatric facility near Cape Town, where he will be assessed by doctors to determine whether he is mentally fit to stand trial.

Dewani has been receiving therapy for post-traumatic stress and depression in the years since the death of his wife. He was first ordered to be extradited in August 2010, but seven months later the High Court in London ruled that it would be "unjust and oppressive" to send him to South Africa until he had overcome his mental health problems.

His legal team's latest efforts to have the case referred to the Supreme Court were refused by a panel of judges. The team still has the option to appeal to the European Court of Human Rights, the BBC reports, but so far no application has been received.

Anni Dewani's uncle Ashok Hindocha told reporters that the family had waited a long time for official legal proceedings to begin. "We thought at the beginning that this is going to be a very quick case where Shrien would fly down to South Africa and stand trial and answer all the questions that is going to be given to him," he said.

Before his extradition, Dewani had been detained in the UK under the Mental Health Act.

Mthunzi Mhaga, justice spokesman for the South African government, said that Dewani would receive a fair hearing, and that throughout the trial he would be housed in a medical facility, the London Evening Standard reports.

"He will be kept in a medical facility due to his peculiar condition. We are working tirelessly to ensure that his return to our shores brings to finality this protracted legal process. We are confident that he will receive a fair trial in our courts," Mhaga said.

After the latest ruling, Anni's father Vinod Hindocha told reporters outside the Royal Courts of Justice: "We are quite happy with the decision and we hope to get the answers that we have been seeking for the past three and a half years. I really don't know what happened to my daughter. We need answers. We hope to get justice."  

Shrien Dewani to be extradited to South Africa 'within 28 days'   

4 March

SHRIEN DEWANI, the Bristol businessman accused of killing his wife on their honeymoon in South Africa, has lost his latest legal appeal to remain in the UK.

Dewani, 33, now faces a 28-day deadline for extradition to South Africa.

He denies paying a hitman to kill his new bride Anni, 28, in a suburb of Cape Town in November 2010 and has argued that he should not be forced from the UK until he has recovered from mental health problems, including depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.

A panel of judges led by Lord Thomas, the Lord Chief Justice, ruled in January that it would not be "unjust and oppressive" to extradite him if the South African government confirmed how long he would be kept in the country without trial if his illness continues. The South African authorities have now given those necessary assurances, reports The Guardian.

The legal team representing Dewani, who is compulsorily detained in hospital under the Mental Health Act, yesterday applied to the High Court to reopen his appeal, citing new medical evidence. They also claimed that his case raised issues of general public interest, which should be decided on by the Supreme Court.

But Lord Thomas and his fellow judges Mr Justice Ouseley and Mr Justice Blake threw out both bids. They also rejected a request to delay the start of the formal 28-day extradition deadline period to allow extra medical reports to be prepared, which Dewani's legal team said could lead to the case being reopened.

His lawyers could still potentially come up with sufficient material to apply for another appeal within the 28-day period or take the case against his deportation to the European Court of Human Rights.

Three men have already been convicted over Anni Dewani's death. South African Xolile Mngeni was convicted of premeditated murder, taxi driver Zola Tongo was jailed for 18 years after he admitted his part in the killing and another accomplice, Mziwamadoda Qwabe, also pleaded guilty to murder and was handed a 25-year prison sentence.

Shrien Dewani: Murder suspect loses bid to block extradition

31 January

SHRIEN DEWANI, the British man suspected of killing his wife, Anni, on their honeymoon, has lost a High Court bid to prevent his extradition to South Africa.

Dewani, who is from Bristol, has been fighting removal from the UK until he has recovered from "mental health problems, including depression and post-traumatic stress disorder", The Guardian reports. South African authorities have accused him of ordering the killing of his new wife who was shot as the couple travelled in a taxi on the outskirts of Cape Town in November 2010.

A panel of three judges, headed by the Lord Chief Justice Lord Thomas, ruled today that Dewani should be extradited as long as the South African government pledges to return him to the UK if he should prove unfit to be tried. The court ruled that the extradition could take place if the undertaking from South African authorities was received by 14 February.

Dewani's lawyers have stressed repeatedly that their client will be willing to defend himself at trial once he is fit to do so, the Western Daily Press reports. But they have argued that he is currently unfit to plead under English law and his "prognosis is not certain".

The High Court proceedings centred on the question of whether he should be extradited in circumstances where he may be unfit to plead. The judges were also asked to rule on whether it is "unjust or oppressive to extradite a person who is agreed at the time of the determination to be unfit, whatever the prognosis".

Three men have already been convicted over Anni Dewani's death. South African Xolile Mngeni was convicted of premeditated murder for shooting her. Prosecutors claimed he was a hitman hired by Dewani to kill his wife, which Dewani has consistently denied.

Taxi driver Zola Tongo was jailed for 18 years after he admitted his part in the killing and another accomplice, Mziwamadoda Qwabe, also pleaded guilty to murder and was handed a 25-year prison sentence.

Shrien Dewani family welcome 'significant' Panorama findings

20 September

THE family of British businessman Shrien Dewani, accused of plotting the murder of his wife on their honeymoon in South Africa, has welcomed a BBC Panorama documentary that casts doubt on the evidence against him.

Dewani is currently fighting extradition to South Africa, where he is due to stand trial for allegedly paying men to shoot his bride Anni Dewani in November 2010.

But Panorama has raised questions about the prosecution's case after it commissioned UK forensic experts to review the evidence.

The programme, which aired last night, highlighted six key contradictions in police statements from the prosecution's main witness, taxi driver Zola Tongo, who has been jailed for 18 years for his part in the killing.

Professor Jim Fraser, who reviewed the evidence over three months, said: "This is not an investigation that would meet the standards in this country.”

A spokesman for the Dewani family told local Bristol newspaper The Post: "Obviously, this is a very significant investigation which seriously undermines the prosecution's case.

"We have never doubted that the case against Shrien would fall apart and we welcome the findings."

He added: "Shrien is unwell and currently unfit for trial. He has always been committed to clearing his name in a court of law when he is medically able and it is safe for him to do so."

Anni's family, however, has made a formal complaint about the BBC documentary, saying the issues should be debated in court and not on television.

The documentary makers also enhanced the audio on CCTV footage to reveal that a hotel clerk, Monde Mbolombo, might have played a bigger role than previously thought in the murder.

Mbolombo told police he had put the taxi driver in touch with the gunmen and had no further involvement. But in the newly enhanced audio, he can be heard giving instructions to Tongo and one of the gunmen on the night of Anni's murder.

Panorama reveals new CCTV footage that suggests Mbolombo played bigger role than first thought 

19 September

NEW CCTV footage accessed by BBC Panorama suggests that hotel clerk Monde Mbolombo might have played a bigger role than previously thought in the murder of Anni Dewani.

The video shows 33-year-old Mbolombo on the phone to taxi driver Zola Tongo, who has been jailed for 18 years for his part in the killing, just hours before her murder.

The BBC used special techniques to enhance the audio on the footage, which allegedly shows him arranging the murder as the honeymoon couple leave their hotel, says the Daily Mail. He can be heard saying: “This is how it’s going to happen. Listen, don’t give them it all up front. Give them what you’ve got on you so they don’t come crying to you.”

He later tells Tongo: “You must take your share as well.”

Hours later, the Dewanis were allegedly hijacked and Anni, 28, was shot dead.

Mbolombo has already admitted putting Tongo in touch with the gunmen who shot Anni. He received immunity from prosecution in return for his testimony, which implicated her husband Shrien Dewani in the killing. It is not known if detectives in South Africa have ever heard Mbolombo’s words on the video.

Shrien Dewani is in the UK fighting extradition to South Africa on charges that he hired men to kill his wife while they were on their honeymoon in Cape Town on 13 November 2010.

Panorama will broadcast its documentary tonight, raising concerns about the South African police case against him. The BBC team has accessed police files that make up the prosecution case and forensic experts in the UK have said it is “not an investigation that would meet the standards in this country”.

Anni’s family has made a formal complaint about the BBC documentary, saying the issues should be debated in court and not on television.

Anni Dewani family angry over BBC 'secret police files' doc

16 September 

THE FAMILY of Anni Dewani, the bride murdered on her South African honeymoon, has accused the BBC of "playing judge and jury" in an upcoming Panorama documentary about her death.

Anni's husband, Shrien Dewani, is accused of paying two men to shoot her during a fake car-jacking in Cape Town in November 2010.But on Thursday night, a Panorama programme entitled 'The Honeymoon Murder: Who Killed Anni?', is set to cast doubt on his guilt.

The documentary-makers say they have obtained "secret police files" that make up the prosecution's case and have commissioned forensic experts to review the evidence. They claim there are "fundamental mistakes" in the police investigation and in the interpretation of forensics, suggesting Anni might have been killed by accident.

But Ashok Hindocha, Anni's uncle, has made a formal complaint to the BBC, reports The Times. "This should be a case for the legal process in South Africa and we cannot see why the BBC has declared itself as judge and jury without allowing us to contribute to the debate," he said.

A spokesman for Panorama said it understood the programme "may be difficult viewing for Anni's family and have approached it sensitively". He added that Hindocha had not raised these issues when the team contacted him to let him know the programme would air and that they would be happy to reflect a statement from the family in the programme.

Meanwhile, the Daily Mail has revealed several anguished text messages sent from Anni to her family before their wedding. "I'm going to be unhappy for the rest of my life," she wrote in one. In others, she wrote "I hate him" and "Want to cry myself to death."

Dewani is currently fighting extradition to South Africa. His latest bid to stay in the UK for further mental health treatment was rejected in July, but his lawyers plan to challenge the decision in the Supreme Court.

  • 'The Honeymoon Murder: Who Killed Anni?' will air on BBC One on Thursday at 9.00pm

British man accused of hiring assassin to kill his new wife will face trial in Cape Town

SHRIEN DEWANI, the British man suspected of hiring a hit man to kill his wife as they honeymooned in Cape Town, is to be extradited back to South Africa to face trial.

The 33-year-old businessman is accused of planning the murder of 28-year-old Anni Dewani, who was shot dead in a taxi on the outskirts of Cape Town in November, 2010.

Dewani, who has always denied any involvement in his wife’s death, has been receiving treatment for depression and post-traumatic stress disorder since returning to the UK. But prosecutors argued successfully that his condition had improved and it would not be “oppressive” to send him to South Africa, the Evening Standard reports.

Chief magistrate Howard Riddle ruled today that Dewani should be extradited even though he may not be fit to face trial immediately. "It is not impossible that if returned now, then after a reasonable period of further treatment and assessment he will be found fit to plead and a trial can take place,” Riddle said.

Dewani’s defence team had argued that the businessman could suffer “setbacks” if he were sent to South Africa. They said he would be a high suicide risk if he returned and his human rights could be violated because of the risk of “violent and sexual assaults in jail, and of contracting HIV”, Sky News reports.

Dewani and his new wife were driving in the Gugulethu township near Cape Town when their taxi was hijacked. The businessman and the driver of the cab were forced out of the vehicle before Anni was driven away and killed.

She was found in the back of the abandoned taxi with a bullet wound to her neck. The cab driver, Zola Tongo, admitted subsequently he was involved in the murder and was given an 18-year jail term. His accomplice, Mziwamadoda Qwabe, also pleaded guilty and was handed a 25-year prison sentence.

The man who fired the gun that killed Anni Dewani, South African Xolile Mngeni, was also convicted last year of premediated murder. Prosecutors claim he was a paid assassin who was hired by Shrien Dewani to kill his wife.

South African authorities have welcomed the extradition decision. Dewani's lawyers said they would appeal the decision. 

Shrien Dewani: new extradition hearing over Anni murder 03/07/2013

SHRIEN DEWANI, the British man accused of plotting the murder of his wife Anni during their honeymoon in South Africa three years ago, is once again facing the prospect of being extradited to South Africa to face trial over her death.

A five-day hearing at Westminster Magistrates court began on Monday. It is the latest in a string of court hearings involving Dewani, who has been suffering depression and post-traumatic stress disorder following the killing of his Swedish-born wife in November 2010 in an alleged carjacking that he is accused of arranging.

Dewani was initially ordered to be extradited in August 2011 but the following March the High Court in London ruled it would be "unjust and oppressive" to send him to South Africa until he had overcome his mental health problems.

This week's case aims to decide if he is now fit to return to South Africa.

Although Dewani is still being treated at a hospital in his home city of Bristol and is not attending the hearing, the South African government believes that his condition has now improved enough for him to be extradited, although it accepts that he is not yet fit to stand trial.

Hugo Keith QC argued that Dewani was "no longer making active references to the possibility of self-harm or suicide" and insisted South Africa had pulled out the stops to offer him the necessary care if its request was granted.

He also suggested that the threat of extradition was holding back Dewani's recovery and that sending him to South Africa could help him in the long run.

The Sun says the court was told how Dewani "sits in a camper van for hours each day . . . in the grounds of the hospital where he is being treated for depression". Sky News reports that psychiatrist Dr Alan Cumming admitted Dewani was "overcome by hopelessness and despair" after the murder of his wife.

But Cumming, giving evidence for the South African government, said today that although extradition would increase Dewani's suicide risk in the short term, his condition would improve after a "spike". He insisted his health could be managed as well in South Africa as in the UK.

He added that it was not inevitable that Dewani would remain unfit to plead for ever.

Tweeting from the court, journalist Natalie Feary said Cumming backed the idea that extradition could help Dewani. "Sometimes longer you leave things, worse they get," she summarised him as saying.

Dewani is accused of arranging for his wife to be shot in what was supposed to look like a carjacking in Cape Town. Three South Africans have been jailed over the 2010 attack.

Honeymoon murder: Dewani extradition halted 30/03/2012

SHRIEN DEWANI will not be extradited to South Africa to stand trial for the murder of his wife – for the moment. The High Court temporarily halted the extradition this morning on mental health grounds.

The judges said that it would be "unjust and oppressive" to order Dewani's extradition in his current condition, highlighting his "unfitness to plead, the risk of a deterioration in his condition and the increased prospects of a speedier recovery if he remains in Britain".

Sir John Thomas, President of the Queen's Bench Division, said that the risk of suicide was also a factor. However, the stay of extradition is only temporary and the judge ruled that "it is plainly in the interests of justice that [Dewani] be tried in South Africa as soon as he is fit to be tried".

The Home Secretary Theresa May had already signed the paperwork for the Bristol businessman's extradition following a Belmarsh Magistrates' Court ruling in August that he should be sent to South Africa for trial. But at a High Court hearing in December, Dewani's lawyers argued that he is too ill to be extradited and is a suicide risk, The Daily Telegraph reports.

South African prosecutors accuse Dewani of masterminding the murder of his wife Anni while on their honeymoon in Cape Town in November 2010.

The couple were carjacked as they drove through the township of Gugulethu in a taxi. Shrien and the driver, Zola Tongo, were ejected from the car, while the two perpetrators drove off with Anni. Her body was found in the car the next day with a gunshot to her neck.

Prosecutors allege that Dewani paid Tongo to arrange the murder.

Clare Montgomery QC, for Dewani, argued in the High Court in December that her client was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and had been since before he was accused of his wife's murder. She said that Dewani would be too ill to give instructions to his lawyer and extradition should be discharged or delayed until her client had recovered.

Meanwhile, a former acting High Court judge in South Africa has told the BBC that Dewani could serve his sentence in Bristol Prison if is extradited to South Africa and found guilty. Paul Hoffman said it would be an unusual arrangement, but it was possible the UK and South African government could strike a deal.

A UK Ministry of Justice spokesman said there is currently no prisoner transfer agreement with South Africa, but "we hope to get more agreements with other countries and one of them may be South Africa".

Dewani denied his wife sex, claims C4 film 11/07/2011

IS Shrien Dewani secretly gay? And might that have been a motive for him to have his newly-wed wife Anni killed in South Africa? That is the question dominating the upcoming return of the Bristol businessman to his extradition hearing.

Dewani denies that he is homosexual as firmly as he denies that he plotted to have his wife murdered during their honeymoon in Cape Town last November. "One of the big talks we had on honeymoon was about starting a family," he has said.

But the rumour refuses to go away and tonight Channel 4 will broadcast a Dispatches documentary, Murder on Honeymoon, which says South African police have been working on the theory that Dewani led a gay double life and paid for his wife to be killed after she threatened to end their marriage.

The C4 film claims that Shrien Dewani did not sleep with Anni before they married. That can be put down to his being a "good Hindu". But they didn’t have sex on their wedding night either – with Anni sleeping alone on a sofa after a big row.

Anni was found dead in the back of a taxi that had supposedly been giving the couple a tour of local townships on their way back to the hotel from dinner. According to Shrien Dewani, the taxi was ambushed by gunmen who pushed him out of the car and drove off with his young wife.

The men involved have since claimed Dewani paid them to kill her. Dewani and his family say this is ludicrous.

But the C4 film includes an allegation that Dewani and the taxi driver were texting each other "about money" even while they were in the car together with Anni, shortly before the ambush.

Yesterday, the Sunday Mirror reported that British police are investigating claims that he regularly visited a south London gay fetish club for sex.

According to the paper, a professional man in his 50s claims he has seen Dewani at The Hoist in Vauxhall several times. To get into The Hoist, says the Mirror, clubbers must be dressed in leather or rubber. The membership fee is £30.

The emergence of this witness follows a claim earlier this year by a German male prostitute called Leopold Leisser - also known as the German Master - that Dewani had talked to him about finding a way out of his engagement.

As result, the family of Anni Dewani – or Anni Hindocha as she was – have apparently discussed whether Shrien Dewani might have been gay.

"If you talk about the gay rumours, I don't think Anni ever knew," Ami Denborg, Anni's elder sister, told the Sunday Telegraph at her home in Stockholm. "There are a lot of rumours and a lot of accusations, and if it's true, that would have been the perfect motive, I would say. If it's not true, then I don't know why."

Denborg made it clear that it had never occurred to Anni's family that she might be marrying a homosexual until after the murder took place and rumours started circulating.

But she did confirm that, for whatever reason, two weeks before the wedding in Mumbai last summer Anni had tried to break it off, "throwing the ring back" at Shrien Dewani.

When Anni phoned her sister in Stockholm to tell her, Denborg persuaded her not to cancel the wedding, reassuring her it was just a case of pre-wedding nerves.

"It was too close to the wedding," said Denborg. "All the guests had booked their tickets. I tried to persuade her to go back to him and maybe I shouldn't have."

Shrien Dewani is due back in court next Monday to renew his legal fight against the South Africans' demand for his extradition. He and his family fear that he will not get a fair trial in Cape Town.

Anni's family are hopeful Shrien will be extradited – not because they are convinced of his guilt but because they want to see justice done. "There are many questions and too few answers," said Anni's sister, Ami. "I don’t know what to believe sometimes. I just want the truth to come out and the end of this story so I can move on with my life."

• 'Murder on Honeymoon', Channel 4, 8pm, July 11.

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