Fort­night be­fore De­wani finds out if he’ll walk free

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS -

BRI­TISH busi­ness­man Shrien De­wani will have to wait nearly two weeks to hear whether his ap­pli­ca­tion to be dis­charged of killing his wife has been suc­cess­ful.

Western Cape High Court Deputy Judge Pres­i­dent Jeanette Traverso said yes­ter­day she would de­liver a rul­ing on De­cem­ber 8, un­less she let the par­ties know oth­er­wise.

“I ob­vi­ously want to take time to con­sider the con­clu­sions to which I will come,” she said.

De­wani’s le­gal team brought the ap­pli­ca­tion last week in terms of sec­tion 174 of the Crim­i­nal Pro­ce­dure Act, which opened up the way for a dis­charge if the court be­lieved there was no cred­i­ble ev­i­dence at the close of the State’s case.

The de­fence pre­sented its ar­gu­ment on Mon­day and the State yes­ter­day.

As pros­e­cu­tor Adrian Mopp was bring­ing his ar­gu­ment to a close, Judge Traverso asked if he agreed that their case rested on a sin­gle wit­ness with re­gard to a con­spir­acy to kill Anni De­wani.

Mopp agreed that shut­tle taxi driver Zola Tongo, as an ac­com­plice wit­ness, was the only per­son who had com­mu­ni­cated with De­wani.

Judge Traverso said he was an un­sat­is­fac­tory wit­ness, even con­ceded to by the State.

“Not so un­sat­is­fac­tory as to draw a line through the rest of the ev­i­dence,” Mopp replied.

The judge said the le­gal test was that there had to be cor­rob­o­ra­tion im­pli­cat­ing the ac­cused, which did not seem to be present in this case.

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