UK man ar­rested for wife’s murder in South Africa

The Pak Banker - - 6international -

LONDON: A Bri­tish man has been ar­rested at the request of South African au­thor­i­ties for al­legedly ar­rang­ing the killing of his wife dur­ing their hon­ey­moon, po­lice said Wed­nes­day.

Scot­land Yard said Shrien De­wani, 30, was de­tained overnight af­ter turn­ing him­self in at a Bris­tol po­lice sta­tion.

The ar­rest comes af­ter a South African man con­victed in Anni De­wani's murder ac­cused her hus­band of pay­ing to have the 28-year-old Swedish woman killed in what was staged to look like a car­jack­ing on Nov. 13. Shrien De­wani has de­nied any role in her death. He will ap­pear at London's City of West­min­ster Mag­is­trates' Court later Wed­nes­day.

Taxi driver Zola Tongo claimed Shrien De­wani ap­proached him about killing his new wife the day the cou­ple ar­rived in Cape Town, ac­cord­ing to a plea agree­ment sub­mit­ted in a South African court.

Tongo said he drove the cou­ple from the air­port to their ho­tel. Once the wife was out of earshot, the driver said Shrien De­wani asked if he could find some­one to kill her. Tongo said Shrien De­wani of­fered 50,000 rand (about $7,000) for each per­son in­volved, but paid only 1,000 (about $145).

Bri­tish news out­lets have been spec­u­lat­ing for weeks about Shrien De­wani's pos­si­ble role. He told au­thor­i­ties the cou­ple was re­turn­ing to their ho­tel from din­ner and had de­toured to visit an im­pov­er­ished town­ship when gun­men forced him and the taxi driver from the ve­hi­cle. Anni De­wani's body was found the next day in an­other town­ship; she had been shot in the back of the neck.

Nei­ther Shrien De­wani nor the driver was hurt. Sus­pi­cions were raised im­me­di­ately be­cause the ve­hi­cle was not stolen. The fam­ily of Shrien De­wani, who has hired celebrity pub­li­cist Max Clif­ford to deal with the me­dia on­slaught, dis­missed the al­le­ga­tions as " to­tally lu­di­crous." Clif­ford said Wed­nes­day Shrien De­wani main­tains his in­no­cence and is strug­gling to cope with the loss of his wife. "He's dev­as­tated, and now all this on top of ev­ery­thing," Clif­ford said. -Ap

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