Shrien Dewani murder trial thrown out by judge

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The murder cast against Shrien Dewani has been thrown out by a judge in South Africa.

Mr Dewani had been standing trial in South Africa, accused of arranging a plot to kill his wife Anni during their honeymoon.

Judge Jeanette Traverso today said that the prosecution’s arguments had “fallen far below” the level which would be needed to secure a conviction. This now paves the way for Mr Dewani’s acquittal.

Care home owner Dewani was in 2011 extradited from the UK to face trial for conspiracy to commit kidnapping, robbery with aggravating circumstances, murder, kidnapping and defeating the ends of justice. Prior to that, he was treated in hospital for depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.

The court on the first day of testimony heard that he is bisexual. The prosecution had alleged that because of his sexuality, Mr Dewani had wanted to get out of his marriage to wife Anni.

He denied plotting to arrange the murder, and said Anni’s death was the result of a botched carjacking in Cape Town, South Africa, back in 2010.

The application to have the case thrown out by Mr Dewani’s defence lawyer Francos van Zyl said that testimony from  Zola Tongo about the killing was “riddled with contradictions” and “highly debatable”.

Judge Traverso said the only reason to not accept the application would be in the hope that Mr Dewani would implicate himself during further testimony.

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