Thursday 29 September 2016

Anni Dewani honeymoon murder inquest will not be resumed: coroner

Nina Massey

Published 09/10/2015 | 11:06

Shrien Dewani with Anni on their honeymoon. Bristol Evening Post/PA Wire
Shrien Dewani with Anni on their honeymoon. Bristol Evening Post/PA Wire

There is no "sufficient cause to resume an inquest" into the death of murdered bride Anni Dewani, a coroner has ruled.

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Millionaire businessman Shrien Dewani was cleared last year of orchestrating the honeymoon killing of his 28-year-old wife, who was shot as the couple drove through the outskirts of Cape Town, South Africa, on November 14 2010.

Mrs Dewani's family argued that there were still many unanswered questions about how she was killed and asked for a full inquest to resume.

But at North London Coroner's Court, Senior Coroner Andrew Walker said: "I don't have sufficient cause to resume an inquest.

"In these proceedings, the matter will now rest."

Mr Walker said: "The fact that there are differing accounts of how Mrs Dewani came by her death does not, in my view, mean that the matters have not already been sufficiently established in public proceedings."

He added that if new evidence, beyond that which already exists, comes to light, it would be open to the family to write to the Attorney General and request that matters be reopened.

Mr Walker told the court that he was "prohibited" from reaching a conclusion which was inconsistent with the findings of the South African courts.

Shrien Dewani and Anni Dewani
Shrien Dewani and Anni Dewani

Representing the family, Christopher Staker had submitted that "as a result of the proceedings in South Africa, in this case, more questions have been raised than have been answered".

He continued: "The family's primary preference would be for an inquest to proceed now.

"The reason for that is that there is simply, as a result of what has happened in South Africa, no clear picture - in fact we have a contradictory picture - of what happened between the time that Anni's parents last spoke to her on the evening of 13 November 2010...

"On the morning of 14 November 2010, at 7.50am she was found dead in a car in Cape Town, with a bullet wound to the neck.

Vinod (L) and Nilam Hindocha, the parents of Anni Dewani, leave court in Cape Town November 24. Vinod Hindocha said that he had no idea of Mr Dewani's sexuality before his daughter married the British businessman, and that neither he nor she would have agreed to the marriage if they knew (REUTERS/Mike Hutchings)
Vinod (L) and Nilam Hindocha, the parents of Anni Dewani, leave court in Cape Town November 24. Vinod Hindocha said that he had no idea of Mr Dewani's sexuality before his daughter married the British businessman, and that neither he nor she would have agreed to the marriage if they knew (REUTERS/Mike Hutchings)

"The question that the family are desperately seeking an answer to is what happened between the time that her parents last spoke to her on the evening of the 13th, and the time that she was found dead the next morning in a car.

"And what circumstances led from one to the other."

Mr Dewani, 34, did not attend the hearing, but wrote a letter which was read by his wife's father, Vinod Hindocha, 66, and uncle, Ashok Hindocha, 55.

He was extradited to South Africa last year but the case collapsed after a judge found that it was "riddled with inconsistencies".

It meant he walked free before having to give evidence and he has never spoken publicly about what happened.

In a statement read out to the court, Mr Dewani described himself as "bisexual" and admitted he had slept with male prostitutes.

A key witness for the prosecution was a male escort who went by the name The German Master, but his evidence was ruled inadmissible.

Three men - Zola Tongo, Mziwamadoda Qwabe and Xolile Mngeni - were given jail terms for their role in Mrs Dewani's killing.

Read more here:

Six reasons Shrien Dewani was acquitted of wife's honeymoon murder

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