No live broadcast of Shrien Dewani trial – NPA

2014-10-03 12:03

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The National Prosecuting Authority says it will not be in the interests of justice for the murder trial of British businessperson Shrien Dewani to be broadcast live.

Dewani will go on trial in the Western Cape High Court on Monday on charges relating to the murder of his wife, Anni, while they were on honeymoon in Cape Town in November 2010.

In a letter to Deputy Judge President Jeanette Traverso, who will preside over the trial, Western Cape director of public prosecutions Rodney de Kock said the prosecution and defence teams had met to consider various aspects of the trial.

They agreed that the media be allowed limited access to take photographs and video clips of Dewani on the first day of proceedings.


“I have been appraised of the defence team’s fear that any unregulated media access to their client may impact negatively on his health and result in a relapse. I obviously share their concern since this will impact negatively on the trial and result in undue delays,” De Kock wrote.

He added that the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) had made undertakings to British authorities that Dewani would receive a fair trial in South Africa.

Dewani arrived in Cape Town in April after a lengthy battle to avoid extradition to face trial.

De Kock stated that he had no objection to a request for the closing argument, judgment and sentencing to be broadcast live.

Meanwhile, the NPA says it is ready to proceed with the trial, Eyewitness News reported. The prosecution is will not divulge the list of witnesses at this stage, in order to avoid possible stress to witnesses.

The trial is expected to run from Monday to December 12, according to earlier reports.

Dewani has been charged with conspiracy to commit kidnapping, robbery with aggravating circumstances, murder, kidnapping, and defeating the ends of justice. He claimed he and his wife were hijacked while driving through Gugulethu. He was released unharmed but Anni was shot dead.

He has not yet been asked to plead.

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