NPA to respond to Dewani discharge argument

2014-11-21 06:22

The National Prosecuting Authority will today file responding papers after lawyers for British man Shrien Dewani filed heads of argument for his discharge on charges of conspiring to kill his wife Anni.

Dewani’s defence filed their papers on Wednesday.

The heads of argument would not be available to the media until the application was heard in open court.

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.

Traverso said the application was provisionally set down to be heard on Monday, unless she needed more time to consider both arguments.

Section 174 of the act provides that if at the close of the prosecution’s case, the court believes there is no evidence that the accused 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 the couple 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 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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