South Africa contests NRI husband's UK bail

The sensational case of the couple who went on a honeymoon to South Africa after a 'fairytale' marriage in India has taken a new turn with the Bristol-based husband being arrested for allegedly organising the killing of his new wife, Anni, 28.

Magistrates in the City of Westminster today granted bail to Shrien, but a High Court judge will now hear the appeal by South African authorities within 48 hours.
Shrien told the court he did not consent to extradition.

South African authorities want to question him after taxi driver Zola Tongo told the Western Cape High Court that he was offered 15,000 rand (1,400 pounds) by Shrien to kill his wife.

Shrien, a businessman from Westbury-on-Trym in Bristol, denies any involvement in the murder.His lawyer Clare Montgomery said his "love for his wife was shown at his wedding".

She added that passport records showed that he had not been to South Africa before so could not have arranged to meet Tongo.Justice Howard Riddle said "the difference in the factual accounts were stark" before he granted bail on an extradition warrant.
Outside the court, Anni's family said they wanted a trial to take place.

"We just want to see justice being done, all the evidence being listened to and a fair trial - justice for Anni is all we are looking for," they said and added that the correct course of action would be for Shrien to be extradited to South Africa.

Shrien surrendered himself to the police in Bristol and was arrested last night.Shrien allegedly offered money to the taxi driver to arrange for Anni to be shot dead in a staged carjacking in a township, according to claims outlined by a prosecutor.

Shrien, who owns a chain of care homes, dismissed the accusations as "ludicrous".
The two were travelling through Gugulethu, a township, when they were ambushed by two men who appeared to threaten their driver, Zola Tongo, and ordered him out of the car before also ejecting Anni.She was found shot dead in the back of the car several hours later.

Yesterday, prosecutors in South Africa publicly accepted a signed confession from Tongo that was agreed as part of a plea bargain deal in which he admitted murder, aggravated robbery and kidnapping.

With Anni's father, Vinod Hindocha, and other relatives who had flown in from Sweden, looking on, Rodney de Kock, the Western Cape director of public prosecutions, said Shrien had orchestrated the murder.

He told Judge President John Hlophe: "The alleged hijacking was in fact not a hijacking, but part of a plan of subterfuge which Shrien Dewani, the husband of the deceased, and the accused had designed to conceal the true facts, to wit: that the deceased was murdered at the instance of her husband."

Reading a lengthy confession signed by Tongo, who sat in the dock with his head buried in his hands throughout, he outlined how Shrien allegedly offered the driver 15,000 rand (1,379 pounds) to plan and carry out the "hit".

"The hijacking would be simulated," the confession claims."The agreement was that after the 'hijacking' of the vehicle, both Shrien Dewani and I would be ejected from the vehicle unharmed, after which the deceased would be murdered.

"The kidnapping and robbery were part of the plan to make it appear that this was a random criminal act, unconnected to Shrien Dewani."Tongo claimed that Shrien sent him a text message while he was driving saying that the fee was hidden behind a seat.
Tongo was jailed for 18 years for his role in the killing as part of the deal, avoiding a likely life sentence.

He will give evidence at the trials of Xolile Mngeni, 23, and Mzwamadoda Qwabe, 25.
Tongo alleges he helped recruit them to carry out the carjacking.They are accused of murder, kidnapping and aggravated robbery.

Shrien's spokesman, Max Clifford, described the allegations as "outrageous" and said that, while he had been warned to expect the latest turn of events, he was "devastated"

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