A judge in South Africa will decide on 08 December whether the murder trial against British Indian businessman Shrien Dewani should continue.
Lawyers for Mr Dewani – who is accused of orchestrating the murder of his Swedish-Indian wife Anni during the couple’s honeymoon in South Africa in 2010 – had requested the dismissal of the case against him, saying there were “inconsistencies” in the evidence given by prosecution witnesses.
Prosecutors argued that whilst the evidence may have been poor in parts, it was still credible.
According to reports from the Western Cape High Court in Cape Town, judge Jeanette Traverso “appears” to be more sympathetic to the defence argument.
She repeatedly questioned prosecution lawyers saying their case against Mr Dewani was based on one “unreliable” witness – Zola Tongo, the taxi driver who is said to have arranged the kidnapping and subsequent murder of Anni Dewani as she and her new husband travelled through the city’s Gugulethu township.
Legal experts too have been unanimous in saying that Mr Tongo had not been entirely credible, particularly after defence lawyer Francois Van Zyl found numerous inconsistencies between the the statements he gave police soon after Anni’s murder and his testimony in court.
Prosecutor Adrian Mopp however told that the plot by Tongo and his co-conspirators was “amateurish” and “comical” but for the brutal murder of an innocent young woman.
The prosecution alleges that Tongo was paid £800 pounds by Mr Dewani to oragnize Anni’s murder.
Mr Dewani says the couple’s car was hijacked on the night of 13 November 2010: he was later released unharmed but his wife was driven away. Her body was found in the abandoned taxi the next morning.
Mr Dewani also insists that the money was for a surprise helicopter trip which Tongo was helping to arrange.
Tongo is already serving an 18-year prison term for conspiring with two other men – Mziwamadoda Qwabe and Xolile Mngeni – to murder Anni.
Earlier on Tuesday, Anni’s family appealed for the case to continue, saying they wanted to know what had happened to her from Shrien Dewani.
Anni’s uncle Ashok said: “Shrien Dewani has said all along that he would like to clear his name. We believe the best way for him to do this is to go into the witness box and tell the court what happened.
“We want to hear it in his own words. We have waited four years for this to happen and it would not be right if he does not do it.
Mr Dewani, a millionaire businessman from Bristol, is said to have already begun packing his bags in preparation for his return to the UK.
He had been extradited to South Africa earlier this year after a lengthy battle with the Home Office, claiming that he was not mentally fit to stand trial.