A case against Shrien Dewani, a British businessman who allegedly hired an assassin to kill his wife while on their honeymoon in Cape Town in 2010, has been thrown out by a South African Judge on grounds that the evidence presented by the prosecution fell “far below the threshold” of what a reasonable court could convict on.
Dewani, was accused of arranging for his wife, Anni Dewani, 28, to be killed while on their honeymoon in South Africa. Anni was shot in a taxi on the outskirts of Cape Town in November, 2010.
Already three men have already been convicted in her death.
Dewani, 34, was extradited from the U.K. after losing his appeal against extradition early in April this year.
BBC quoted Judge Jeanette Traverso saying that the evidence of the prosecution’s main witness, taxi driver Zola Tongo, was “riddled with contradictions” and “highly debatable”.
The prosecution had hoped to use evidence of Dewani’s bi-sexuality and relationship with his wife as evidence to accuse him of arranging the murder of his new wife in order to escape a marriage. The trial judge however rejected the evidence, which lawyers had claimed would illustrate Mr Dewani’s motive for murder.
The credibility of several other evidence brought forward by the prosecution was also questioned and failed to pass the court’s test.
Judge Traverso said the evidence was “so improbable, with so many mistakes, lies and inconsistencies you cannot see where the lies ended and the truth begins”.
The prosecution had alleged the men carried out the killing for Mr Dewani for 15,000 rand (about $1,250)
The judge said alleged Dewani’s accomplices in the murder were “intelligent men” and dismissed the prosecution claim that they would have carried out a contract killing for Dewani for “a few thousand rand”.
Anni’s Hindochi family release a statement soon after the verdict was given, saying “We feel really, really sad because we have not heard the full story. Shrien lived a double life.”
Her brother, Anish Hindocha, had last week implored Dewani to “tell the world what happened the night she died”.
Prior to the trial Dewani’s British family welcomed a BBC TV documentary, “The Honeymoon Murder: Who Killed Anni Dewani?” because it casts doubt on the evidence against him, TheWeek reported. Anni’s family, however, made a formal complaint about the documentary –released September, 2013 — saying the issues should be debated in court, not on TV.