Briton arrested over honeymoon murder of wife in S.Africa

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A British businessman has been arrested on suspicion of conspiring to have his Swedish bride murdered while honeymooning in South Africa, police said Wednesday.

Shrien Dewani, 30, surrendered himself at a police station in Bristol, southwest England, late Tuesday and was detained by London's Metropolitan Police acting on behalf of the South African authorities.

He is accused of conspiring with others to murder Anni Dewani, 28, just weeks after their glitzy Hindu wedding.

She was killed after the car in which the pair was travelling was reportedly hijacked on the outskirts of Cape Town on November 13.

"Officers from the Metropolitan Police Service's Extradition Unit have... arrested Shrien Prakash Dewani, 30, on behalf of the South African authorities," said a Metropolitan Police statement.

It listed the allegation against him as: "On 13 November 2010, in Cape Town, South Africa, conspired with others to murder Anni Dewani."

He was due to appear at court in London later Wednesday.

Shrien Dewani's alleged involvement in the murder emerged in a South African court on Tuesday, marking a sensational twist in the murder of his young wife whose bullet-riddled body was found in an impoverished township neighbourhood.

Her husband returned to Britain days after the incident in which he was unharmed and has denied involvement.

Three men were originally charged with the murder but as part of a plea bargain the High Court in Cape Town heard one of the accused allege that the husband ordered the killing.

The claim that Dewani plotted the murder was made by Zola Tongo, the driver of the taxi in which the couple were travelling near Cape Town.

Tongo was sentenced to 18 years in jail on Tuesday after pleading guilty to murder and aggravated robbery, as the victim's father looked on and wept.

National Prosecuting Authority spokesman Eric Ntabazalila told AFP that Tongo had given evidence that he was approached by the Briton and promised 15,000 rand (2,175 dollars) "to remove someone off the scene."

"After some discussion with him I understood that he wanted someone, a woman, killed," said Tongo in a sworn statement.

He enlisted two accomplices to conduct the murder, according to Ntabazalila.

© 2010 AFP

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