S.Africa driver of slain honeymooner on trial Tuesday

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The driver of the car in which the wife of a British businessman was killed on honeymoon in South Africa will go on trial on Tuesday, said prosecutors who confirmed a plea bargain deal had been struck.

"The trial will start tomorrow in the Cape Town High court for Zola Tongo," National Prosecuting Authority spokesman Eric Ntabazilila told AFP on Monday, adding that two other men accused of the murder will not face court until February 25.

All three are charged with killing 28-year-old Swede Anni Dewani after the taxi in which she was travelling with her British husband on November 13 on the outskirts of Cape Town was hijacked.

Tongo's trial will involve a plea bargain that could see his charges reduced, Ntabazilila said, adding that the terms of the deal would only be made public after court proceedings took place.

William de Grass, Tongo's lawyer, has previously said his client was in negotiations to turn state's witness.

Tongo was expected to plead guilty to four charges. The plea bargain document would then be read into the court record and would include a sentence that had been agreed to by all the parties involved, SAPA news agency reported.

Newly-wed husband Shrien Dewani was released unhurt on the outskirts of Cape Town but his wife was kidnapped and shot dead. Her body was later found in the hijacked car in an impoverished township neighbourhood.

She was also robbed of a Giorgio Armani ladies wristwatch, a white gold and diamond bracelet, a handbag and a Blackberry phone, the charge sheet states.

© 2010 AFP

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