Judge in Dewani murder ‘dodgy’

2011-01-03 08:47

The family of Shrien Dewani fear he will not receive a fair trial in South Africa because the presiding judge has been dogged by misconduct allegations, the Telegraph in the UK reported.

Akta Raja, the cousin of the British honeymoon murder accused, told the publication that Judge John Hlophe was a controversial figure and questioned whether it would be a fair trial.

Hlophe has been at the centre of a series of controversies since being appointed president of the Western Cape High Court in 2000.

Last month, he sentenced Zola Tongo, the taxi driver hired by Dewani, to a reduced jail term of 18 years after accepting a plea bargain.

Tongo, in a signed confession, accused Dewani of arranging the hit on his wife, Anni.

Dewani (31), from Bristol, is due to appear in a British court for a preliminary extradition hearing on January 20.

His lawyers would argue that there was no proper evidence against him and that the case would be prejudiced in South Africa because trials were conducted by a judge and no jury.

Anni was shot in the neck in what was reported to be a staged hijacking in Gugulethu last November.?

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