Shrien Dewani trial: Anni’s family ‘just wants the truth’

2014-10-06 08:31

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The Western Cape High Court was packed this morning as family members and journalists arrived for the “honeymoon murder trial” of British businessperson Shrien Dewani.

Anni Dewani’s family expressed relief and said they hoped to finally learn the truth of how she died four years ago as her husband’s trial begins.

“Now that I am here all that I ask for is the full story and justice,” her father Vinod Hindocha told reporters in Cape Town yesterday.

“It is now up to the South African justice system to obtain the full story of how my little daughter died.”

Anni’s uncle, Ashok Hindocha, added: “We will have great, great relief 10 o’clock tomorrow morning. Hopefully, we will get all the answers we want.”

Asked whether the family had a message for Dewani, he added: “Tell us what happened in court so that we can go on with our lives. We are not going to get Anni back, we know that, but we need to get the truth so we can go on with our lives.”

Anni was killed while on honeymoon in Cape Town in November 2010.

Her husband Shrien claimed they were hijacked as they were being driven through Gugulethu in a minibus taxi. The state maintained he conspired with others to kill her. The family said they had full confidence in the South African justice system, and believed officials had so far followed a “trustworthy approach” in the case.

“I am confident that South Africa will conduct a fair and open trial of Shrien Dewani,” her father said.

The family said they would make no more statements until the end of the trial out of respect for the judicial process.

The start of the much-anticipated trial followed a series of delays, punctuated by efforts to extradite Dewani to South Africa and claims by his defence that he was innocent, and mentally unfit to stand trial.

In mid-August, he was declared fit to stand trial after undergoing psychiatric observation.

He would remain at the Valkenberg Psychiatric Hospital for the duration of the trial.

According to an indictment previously handed to the court, Dewani was charged with conspiracy to commit kidnapping, robbery with aggravating circumstances, murder, kidnapping, and defeating the ends of justice.

He had not yet been asked to plead.

Ashok Hindocha described the long run-up to the trial and legal wrangling as “torture”, adding: “Everything has been about everything but Anni.”

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