Swedish tourist murder case postponed

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The murder case of three men accused of killing a Swedish honeymooning tourist was postponed in Cape Town on Monday for further investigation and to finalise a plea bargain with one of the accused.

"The matter is remanded until next Monday," magistrate Jackie Redelinghuys told the court, ordering the three suspects back into custody.

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

William da Grass, attorney for accused number three Zola Tongo, told the court that negotiations for his client to plead to a sentence and turn possible state witness could be finalised by Monday.

Tongo was the driver of the vehicle in which the couple were abducted.

"The possibility exists...that we may possibly conclude these negotiations and the plea bargain come the next appearance," he told the Wynberg regional court.

The case has prompted a media furore locally and abroad.

Newly wed husband Shrien Dewani was released unhurt on the outskirts of Cape Town but she was kidnapped. Anni Dewani body was later found in the hijacked vehicle 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 cellular telephone, the charge sheet states.

Tongo, along with Mziwamadoda Qwabe, 25 and Xolile Mngeni, 23 are charged with murder, robbery with aggravating circumstances and kidnapping.

© 2010 AFP

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