Dewani murder trial timeline

8th December 2014, Comments 0 comments

Here is a timeline of events leading to the acquital of British millionaire Shrien Dewani, who had been on trial for murdering his bride during their honeymoon in Cape Town in November 2010.

2010

November 13: Anni Dewani, 28, a Swede of Indian origin, is shot dead after the car in which she was travelling with her husband Shrien was reportedly hijacked in a township on the outskirts of Cape Town.

December 8: Shrien Dewani, who is of Indian origin, is detained on suspicion of conspiring to have his bride killed, after surrendering himself to police in England.

Dewani, an executive for his family's chain of nursing homes, is released on bail pending an extradition hearing and denies any involvement in his wife's death.

Zola Tongo, the driver of the taxi in which the pair was travelling, tells South African police Dewani had offered 15,000 rand ($1,300) to have his wife killed. He is sentenced to 18 years in prison.

South African prosecutors accuse Mziwamadoda Qwabe, 25 and Xolile Mngeni, 23, of being the hitmen who carried out the murder.

2011

August 10: A London court rules that Dewani can be extradited to face trial, but refers the case to the interior minister for a final decision.

British interior minister Theresa May approves the extradition in September.

Dewani, who says he is suffering from severe post-traumatic stress disorder and depression, contests it. His lawyers say extradition would increase his risk of suicide.

2012

March 30: Britain's High Court temporarily halts Dewani's extradition on mental health grounds.

August 8: Qwabe pleads guilty to the murder and is sentenced to 25 years in prison. Mngeni's trial begins a week later, and he pleads not guilty.

November 19: Mngeni is convicted of killing Anni Dewani and is sentenced the following month to life in prison.

2013

July 24: The judge rules that Dewani can be extradited to face trial.

August 6: Dewani contests the ruling and appeals to the Supreme Court. His bid is rejected on January 31, 2014, by which time he has been interned in a mental hospital.

2014

April 7: Dewani, now 34, is extradited in the care of a doctor, nurse and police officers to stand trial and arrives in Cape Town the next day on board a private plane.

Dewani is charged with murder, conspiracy to commit murder, and a lesser offence, and is taken to the Valkenberg psychiatric hospital in Cape Town.

May 12: He briefly appears in a Cape Town court which postpones the trial until June 20. Dewani is then told to stand trial on October 6 if a medical panel finds him mentally fit.

October 6: Dewani pleads not guilty to the murder and admits he is bisexual.

October 18: Mngeni dies in prison.

December 8: High Court Judge Jeannette Traverso clears Dewani of the murder, saying the prosecutor's evidence had "fallen far below" the level needed to secure a conviction.


© 2014 AFP

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