Evidence in Dewani case flawed - expert

2013-09-19 18:11
(Dominic Lipinski, AP)

(Dominic Lipinski, AP)

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London - The evidence against Shrien Dewani, accused of ordering the murder of his fiancée on honeymoon, would not stand up in a British court, a forensic scientist has told the BBC.

Anni Dewani, 28, was shot in a taxi on the outskirts of Cape Town in 2010.

Professor Jim Fraser told the BBC's Panorama programme there was "simply a cloud of suspicion... rather than any evidence" against Dewani, a 33-year-old British businessman, who has denied any involvement in the shooting.

Dewani remains in Britain in a mental health clinic where he is being treated for post-traumatic stress disorder and is fighting extradition to South Africa.

He has launched a bid to take his case to the Supreme Court after a judge ruled he should be transferred to stand trial.

Fraser told the BBC there were contradictions in the evidence of a witness, who is expected to form a key part of the prosecution case in South Africa, and said the investigation fell short of British standards.

Panorama said it had seen video confessions, CCTV footage, phone records, scientific evidence and pictures of the crime scene.

The Dewanis' taxi driver Zola Tongo was jailed for 18 years in 2010 after he admitted his part in the killing, and another accomplice, Mziwamadoda Qwabe, also pleaded guilty to murder and was given a 25-year prison sentence.

CCTV footage contradicts statement

The BBC programme examined a statement by Tongo, who having struck a plea bargain is expected to testify in the case alleging that Dewani hired him.

Panorama said the CCTV footage and phone records appear to contradict Tongo's sworn statement.

On the day Anni Dewani was murdered, the couple had had a late breakfast.

Tongo's said in his statement that Dewani called him at 11:30, asking to be picked up. But phone records in the police file show no such call took place.

Taylor said: "A single thing that was inconsequential - even a number of things that were inconsequential - wouldn't worry me.

"But there are really quite a few things here which are plainly untrue.

"This is not an investigation that would meet the standards in this country."

Taylor has advised the British interior ministry, or Home Office, on a number of high-profile cases.

Read more on:    zola tongo  |  mziwamadoda qwabe  |  anni hindocha  |  shrien dewani  |  cape town  |  honeymoon hijacking

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