Dewani defence to apply for discharge

2014-11-19 06:43

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Lawyers for Shrien Dewani will file their heads of argument today for his discharge on charges of conspiring to kill his wife Anni.

On Monday, Francois van Zyl, for Dewani, said the defence intended making an application to Deputy Judge President Jeanette Traverso in terms of section 174 of the Criminal Procedure Act.

Van Zyl said the defence needed time to prepare its application as there were many facts it had to deal with.

The state was expected to file responding papers on Friday.

Traverso said the application would be heard on Monday.

Section 174 of the Criminal Procedure Act provides that if at the close of the prosecution’s case, the court believes there is no evidence that the British man committed the offence, it may return a verdict of not guilty.

Dewani is on trial for allegedly plotting with taxi driver Zola Tongo and others to kill Anni while they were on honeymoon in Cape Town in November 2010.

He has pleaded not guilty to charges including kidnapping, murder, and defeating the ends of justice.

He claims they were hijacked as Tongo was driving them through Gugulethu in his minibus on Saturday, November 13 2010.

Tongo is serving an 18-year jail term and Mziwamadoda Qwabe has been imprisoned for 25 years. Xolile Mngeni was serving life in jail for firing the shot that killed Anni, but died in prison from a brain tumour last month.

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