Dewani back in Britain after acquittal

2014-12-10 12:23

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London – British businessperson Shrien Dewani arrived back home today after being cleared of murdering his bride during their honeymoon.

Television pictures showed the 34-year-old making his way from his flight to the terminal at London’s Gatwick Airport, and then being whisked away in a vehicle at around 7am, pursued by photographers.

Dewani arrived in Britain before sunrise on a connecting flight from Dubai, having left Cape Town yesterday, a day after the high court there cleared him of hiring hitmen to murder 28-year-old Anni Dewani during their honeymoon in November 2010.

Police escorted Dewani through Cape Town International Airport to catch an Emirates flight that left at 1.30pm. He reportedly flew first class and later switched to a flight to London.

Dewani prepares to leave South Africa at Cape Town’s airport on Tuesday (December 9 2014). Picture: AP

Prosecutors said Dewani wanted his wife killed because he was gay and felt trapped into marriage by family pressures.

Dewani told the court in a written statement at the start of the trial that he was bisexual and admitted having sex with male prostitutes, but said he loved Anni.

Anni’s family said after the acquittal that they planned to sue Dewani, saying she would never have married him if she had known about “his secret sex life with male prostitutes”.

“Neither would we have, as a family, condoned a union with a man who indulged himself in such a sordid manner,” the family said.

Both families are of Indian origin and mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters had sat across the courtroom from each other since the trial began in October.

The judge in the case, Jeanette Traverso, said the state’s evidence had “fallen far below” the level needed to secure a conviction.

She said testimony by two men jailed for Anni’s murder that Dewani had masterminded the plan was “improbable” and full of contradictions and lies.

Dewani had returned to Britain within days of the murder and fought a three-year legal battle to avoid being extradited to South Africa, claiming he had mental health problems, including depression and post-traumatic stress.

But he was sent back to South Africa in April, where he was found fit to stand trial and was held at a psychiatric hospital for the duration of the trial.

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