Alleged Miscarriages of Justice > The kidnapping and shooting/murder of Anni Dewani while on her honeymoon in South Africa. Trial of Shrien Dewani was held in Cape Town, SA.

Shrien Dewani trial commences in Capetown.

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South African court to hear Shrien Dewani hired male prostitute before wedding to Anni
Leopold Leisser reportedly said Dewani told him during their liaisons that he felt he could not back out of upcoming wedding as his family would disown him

Anni Dewani, left, was shot dead in an apparent car jacking in Cape Town while her husband, Shrien, right, was unharmed Photo: PA

By Aislinn Laing, Cape Town
11:00PM BST 04 Oct 2014
A British businessman accused of having his wife murdered in a staged carjacking during their honeymoon in Cape Town visited a male prostitute for drug-fuelled sexual liaisons in the run-up to his wedding, his trial is expected hear when it opens in South Africa next week.
Shrien Dewani, 34, told Leopold Leisser that he was due to marry to a "nice, lovely girl” and could not break off the engagement, despite having strong feelings for men, because he would be “disowned by his family”, it was reported.
Mr Leisser, a German national who trades under the name The Master, is said to have told police he met Mr Dewani, a care home owner from Bristol, through the homosexual introductions website Gaydar and he was “very charming and quite educated".
Mr Leisser alleged he saw Mr Dewani three times between September 2009 and April 2010, at his own flat in Birmingham and at the Presidential Kensington Apartments in Earl's Court and they took drugs during their meetings.
His evidence is contained in a statement he gave the Metropolitan Police after Mr Dewani’s new wife Anni died in an apparent carjacking in Cape Town in April 2010 which South Africa’s Star newspaper claims to have obtained.
Mr Dewani was allowed to return to the UK but South African police asked for him to be extradited back to the country after three men, including the driver of the taxi the couple were attacked in, were arrested over the fatal shooting and claimed Mr Dewani had paid them more than £1,000 to do it.
The millionaire businessman, who was treated for post-traumatic stress disorder and depression after the incident, fought a long legal battle against returning to South Africa but was ordered to do so by a panel of High Court judges in April this year after his condition improved.
Since then, he has been treated at Cape Town’s Valkenberg Hospital, where psychiatrists have confirmed he is now fit to stand trial.
Among those who are expected to give evidence for the state or have statements read to the court when his trial begins at Cape Town’s High Court this week are Mr Leisser.
The prostitute is said to have given police phone records, text messages, a form Mr Dewani filled in before their first meeting stating his sexual preferences, and even a photograph of the defendant.
Detectives have confirmed the number Mr Leisser gave them was Mr Dewani’s, The Star reported, and interviewed neighbours of the London flat where the prostitute said they met, who confirmed Mr Dewani was the occupant.
Mr Leisser told police Mr Dewani paid him up to £400 a time for three liaisons and he bent his "no-sleep over" rule because "he was very friendly and I liked him... he was very charming and quite educated", the newspaper reported.
During their third encounter, he told him he was getting married, it added.
"He said that she was a nice, lovely girl and that he liked her but that he could not break out of it in any way because he would be disowned by the family,” Mr Leisser is quoted as saying.
“He also said they he needs to find a way out of it. He also told me that he had met another guy previously that he could have fallen for and he came close to telling his family about it, but he didn't."
Mr Dewani denies charges of conspiracy to commit kidnapping, robbery with aggravating circumstances, murder, kidnapping, and defeating the ends of justice. He has previously said he was at the gym and a job interview when he is alleged to have seen Mr Leisser.
His trial is expected to begin on Monday.


And so it begins.

Mr Dewani faces five charges including murder and lying about the circumstances of Swedish national Anni's death.
Prosecutors argue that Mr Dewani conspired with Cape Town residents Zola Tongo, Mziwamadoda Qwabe and Xolile Mngeni to kill his wife.
The court heard forensic evidence that the fatal shot was delivered "at close range", with a suggestion that Mrs Dewani might have been grabbing on to "someone or something" at the time she died.
A video taken shortly after her bloodied body was found was also shown to the court.
Through defence lawyer Francois Van Zyl, Mr Dewani said he had "had sexual interaction with both males and females".
"I consider myself to be bisexual," the court was told.
"My sexual interactions with males were mostly physical experiences or email chats with people I met online or in clubs, including prostitutes," Mr Dewani's witness statement said.
Mr Dewani said he had abnormally low levels of hormones, rendering his chances of having children slim. He said he discussed this with Anni, whom he began dating in summer 2009.
Anni Dewani's sister, Ami Denborg (l) and mother Nilam Hindocha (r) attended the first day of the court case
The court also heard of a volatile relationship between the newlyweds, including an "angry disagreement" in May 2010.
A letter sent later from Mr Dewani said "I really do love you. Want to be with you forever."
But Anni wanted to call off the wedding, claiming Mr Dewani was "too controlling", the court heard.
"We really frustrated each other, we were in love," he said through his lawyer.

At the scene - Karen Allen, Africa correspondent
Shrien Dewani stood upright and for the most part composed on the first day of his trial.
It is a trial that many believed would never be held in South Africa after a protracted extradition battle and concerns about Mr Dewani's mental health.
Defence lawyer Francois van Zyl revealed that Mr Dewani had said he was "bisexual", a fact that may serve to neutralise some of the fevered press speculation of recent months and police statements given by a gay escort who claims he spent time with Mr Dewani.
The coming days are likely to see a detailed public examination of the couple's relationship.
But in a statement read out in court Mr Dewani said he had been "instantly attracted" to Anni when they first met and he sobbed quietly when a "love letter" he wrote to her after an argument, was read out in court.

The pair married later in 2010 and travelled to South Africa for their honeymoon. According to Mr Dewani, he bought flexible tickets for the trip.
It was when the couple arrived in Cape Town that Mr Dewani met taxi driver Zola Tonga, who has already admitted his part in Anni's murder.
Tonga told Mr Dewani he was an "executive tour guide", and was asked to hire a helicopter as a surprise for Anni.
The driver, according to Mr Dewani, also helped to change £5,000 in order to get "a good market rate".
Shrien Dewani's mother Snila, father Prakesh and brother Preyen are also in court
On the night of Anni's death Mr Dewani was carrying "a large amount of cash", and Tongo had texted him to ask if he still had money for the helicopter ride.
Later, when they were in the taxi, Tongo pulled off the motorway and the car was stopped, the court heard.
"The next thing I recall is somebody next to me, who told me to lie down. The person had a gun in his hand. He was waving the gun in the air," Mr Dewani's statement said.
"We were both terrified and immediately complied with his demands. I was lying half on top of Anni. Another person was behind the steering wheel. I do not know where Tongo was at that stage."
Then, one of the gang asked Mr Dewani to get out of the car. When he refused, the court heard, a gun was held at his head before he got out of the car.
He then tried to find help before being taken back to his hotel by police.
Mr Dewani said he later met Tongo, whom he felt "sorry" for, and had planned to give him some money.
The case was adjourned until Wednesday.
Extracts of a letter from Shrien Dewani to Anni, dated May 2010
Dear Anni,
I realise we are very different but I have always believed in a relationship you can work through those differences. When we first met I immediately liked you ... And no not just because you are pretty ... but because you made me laugh.
I have always wanted a girl that I can be friends with. One that understands me - and I know that that is not easy. I know that I am so focussed that some people think I am intense. I am focussed on achieving things in life.
I really do love you, and hence I don't want you to be unhappy. I want to be with you forever but not if that makes you unhappy ... that I could not bear ... I really hope we work this out.
I am really sorry that I have made you feel like this. You are so precious to me - I know I don't always show it. I often find it difficult to show how much you mean to me ... But please do not think this is because I don't love you.
Speak to you later
Love always
South African Xolile Mngeni was convicted of premeditated murder for shooting Mrs Dewani and jailed for life.
Prosecutors claimed he was hired to carry out the killing.
Zola Tongo, was jailed for 18 years after he admitted his part in the killing and another accomplice, Mziwamadoda Qwabe, also pleaded guilty to murder and was jailed for 25 years.


Looks very much as was suspected, the marriage was a convenience intended merely to camouflage Dewani's sordid secret.   What I haven't quite worked out yet though is, was the last four years simply a delaying tactic?


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