Scotland Yard confirms Dewani arrest

2010-12-08 07:16

Scotland Yard this morning confirmed Shrien Dewani’s arrest for the murder of his wife, Anni, on their honeymoon in South Africa.

“Officers from the Metropolitan Police Service’s Extradition Unit yesterday arrested Shrien Prakash Dewani (30) on behalf of the South African authorities,” Scotland Yard said.

“He surrendered himself at a Bristol police station and was arrested under a provisional arrest warrant issued earlier on the same evening, at the request of the South African authorities, on suspicion of conspiring to murder Anni Dewani.”

“He is due to appear in custody at City of Westminster Magistrates Court later today,” said Scotland Yard.

Meanwhile, British newspaper The Sun reported an extradition application was being prepared ahead of the proceedings.

Scotland Yard had also been asked by South African authorities to run checks on cellphone calls made by Shrien from the UK, it reported.

Anni’s family last night called for Dewani to return to South Africa.

“We weren’t told what would come out in court and it came as a shock,” her father Vinod Hindocha told the publication.

Local authorities could not confirm the arrest and referred all queries to British police.

The arrest came hours after the Cape High Court heard that it cost Dewani a mere R16?000 to have his new bride killed.

Cape Town shuttle driver Zola Tongo (31) was jailed for an effective 18 years yesterday for his role in the plot, following a plea bargain with the State.

Anni (28), from Sweden, was honeymooning in Cape Town when she and her husband were hijacked while in a minibus taxi on Saturday, November 13. Shrien claimed the hijackers had forced him out of the vehicle. Anni’s body was found in the abandoned vehicle the next day. She had been shot.

In a statement handed in as part of a plea agreement, Tongo revealed how he and Shrien had participated in a fake hijacking.

“The agreement was that after the hijacking of the vehicle, both Shrien Dewani and I would be ejected from the vehicle unharmed, after which the deceased would be kidnapped and robbed, before she was murdered,” he said.

The couple, who had been married for two weeks, were travelling through Cape Town’s Gugulethu township at the time of the hijacking.

Tongo was convicted of murder, kidnapping, robbery with aggravating circumstances and perverting the course of justice.

Two other people, Xolile Mnguni (23) and Mzwamadoda Qwabe (25), faced charges of murder, aggravated robbery and kidnapping. They were expected to appear in court in February next year.

Dewani returned to England after the murder and denied any involvement in it.

His publicist Max Clifford issued a statement after court proceedings on Tuesday saying Dewani was “wholly innocent”.

“Shrien is wholly innocent of any involvement in this heinous crime. These allegations are totally ludicrous, extremely convenient for South Africa and very hurtful to a young man who is grieving the loss of the woman he loved, his chosen life partner.”?

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