Lawyers for honeymoon murder suspect Shrien Dewani have called for the murder case against the Bristol businessman to be dismissed for ‘lack of evidence’.
Dewani’s barrister Francois van Zyl put forward an application for discharge to judge Jeanette Traverso on Monday after the prosecution had completed its case, which has been described by legal experts as “very poor”.
Mr van Zyl told the High Court in Cape Town that the defense team would submit written reasons for the application on Wednesday.
British-born Dewani, 34, is accused of orchestrating the murder of his Swedish-Indian wife Anni Dewani during the couple’s honeymoon in South Africa in 2010.
He was extradited to South Africa earlier this year after judges ruled that he was mentally fit to stand trial.
Dewani has heard evidence against him from a variety of witnesses over the past six weeks, including claims that he organized the murder plot to hide the fact that he was bi-sexual.
Many legal experts however, have described the prosecution’s case as weak and the witnesses as “not credible”.
All three main accusers, including the taxi driver who drove the Dewanis through the Gugulethu Township in Cape Town prior to Anni’s kidnap and murder and who is said to have arranged the killing, as well as the gunmen and another kidnapper have given varying accounts of the events surrounding Anni’s killing.
Judge Traverso has also pulled up prosecutor Adrian Mopp for submitting evidence she said was “irrelevant”.
Whilst applications for dismissal in the High Court are rare, experts say that the judge in this case could halt the trial because of the weakness of the prosecution witnesses.
If the application is successful Shrien Dewani could be released and be free to return home to the UK.