Anni Dewani case: Freed of murder charge, British-Indian businessman to return home

London: An Indian-origin businessman from Britain, Shrien Dewani is preparing to leave South Africa after a judge cleared him of arranging the murder of his wife on their honeymoon, media reported Tuesday.

Dewani, 33, was accused of ordering the murder of his wife, 28-year-old Anni Dewani, who was shot on the outskirts of Cape Town in November 2010 during the course of their honeymoon, BBC reported.

On Monday, Deputy Judge President Jeanette Traverso of the Western Cape High Court dismissed the case against him, after describing evidence from prosecution witnesses as "riddled with contradictions".

Dewani
Accused Shrien Dewani, sitting in the Cape Town High Court during the trial. Photo: AFP

Anni's family said they were heartbroken that the case was dismissed before Dewani testified.

"We feel as a family that the justice system has failed us and we are deeply disappointed," Anni's sister Ami Denborg said.

"We came here looking for answers and we came here looking for the truth, and all we got was more questions."

"We would have preferred to have known about his secret sex life with male prostitutes and the activities he engaged in before he married Anni," Denborg said referring to Dewani's admission in court that he was bi-sexual.

Judge Traverso said claims by the chief prosecution witness, cab driver Zola Tongo, about the murder were "riddled with contradictions", "highly debatable" and the evidence from the prosecution was "far below" the required threshold.

Three men - Tongo, Mziwamadoda Qwabe and gunman Xolile Mngeni - have already been convicted for their part in the murder, which happened during a late-night tour of a township when their chauffeur-driven car was hijacked.

Dewani was in South Africa as he was extradited from Britain in April to stand trial for Anni's murder.

He faced five counts, including kidnapping, murder, and defeating the ends of justice, and has pleaded not guilty to all of them.

He has maintained that he and his wife were the victims of a hijacking Nov 13, 2010.

Dewani was thrown out of the car later that night and Anni's body was found the next day with a single gun shot wound on her neck.

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