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Updated: December 8, 2010 22:15 IST

Husband held on honeymoon murder

  • Hasan Suroor
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Undated handout photo of Shrien Dewani and Anni Dewani (right) made available by the Bristol Evening Post. File: AP.
Undated handout photo of Shrien Dewani and Anni Dewani (right) made available by the Bristol Evening Post. File: AP.

The kidnapping and murder of a young woman of Indian origin while on honeymoon in South Africa last month took a dramatic turn on Wednesday when her husband was arrested by British police on suspicion of conspiring to kill her.

Shrien Dewani (31), son of a Bristol-based businessman, surrendered himself after being contacted by the police following a request from South African authorities.

His wife Anni Dewani (28), whose family is settled in Sweden, was shot dead after she was kidnapped when the taxi in which the couple were travelling was hijacked in a township on the outskirts of Cape Town. Mr. Dewani was released unharmed and later returned to Britain.

The couple had barely arrived in South Africa after a high-profile wedding in India when the tragedy struck. There had been persistent media speculation about Mr. Dewani's alleged role but he vehemently denied involvement and offered to cooperate with the police. His arrest followed claims by the taxi driver Zola Tongo who told a court in South Africa that he was offered 15,000 rand (£1,400) by Mr. Dewani to kill his wife. Tongo's claim was said to be part of a plea bargain agreement with the court which sentenced him to 18 years on a range of charges including murder, kidnapping and robbery.

Mr. Dewani's lawyer ,Clare Montgomery QC, said he had “no involvement in the death of his wife Anni'' and was “devastated by her murder and the false allegations''. His spokesman Max Clifford said his client was happy to help with police investigations.

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