England

Cleared Shrien Dewani returns to England

Shrien Dewani (back centre) is driven away from Gatwick Airport in a black people carrier Image copyright PA
Image caption Shrien Dewani (back centre) was driven away from Gatwick Airport in a black people carrier

Shrien Dewani has arrived back in England after being cleared by a court in South Africa of arranging the murder of his wife in 2010.

Mr Dewani, 34, left Gatwick Airport through a side entrance that was guarded by police before being driven away shortly before 07:00 GMT.

He is believed to have flown in from Dubai rather than taking a direct flight from Cape Town to the UK.

He was extradited in April for the trial, which was thrown out on Monday.

Judge Jeanette Traverso cleared Mr Dewani after ruling the prosecution case that the care home boss from Bristol had arranged the death of his wife Anni was flawed.

Armed police officers were on guard at the airport preventing reporters from approaching the exit used by Mr Dewani.

He is believed to have flown into the UK on an Emirates flight that landed shortly before 06:30.

Judge Traverso dismissed the case against Mr Dewani at the Western Cape High Court, describing evidence from a key prosecution witness as "riddled with contradictions".

Image copyright PA
Image caption Staff at Gatwick Airport in West Sussex prepare for the departure of Shrien Dewani following his return to the UK

Mr Dewani had always denied plotting to arrange the shooting of his bride in the back of their taxi while on honeymoon in November four years ago.

His wife's family, from Sweden, are now considering whether to launch a civil action against her husband in the UK.

They said the decision left many questions unanswered as it meant bisexual Mr Dewani, who led a double life visiting male prostitutes in the months before he married, would not have to give evidence or face cross-examination.

Her uncle, Ashok Hindocha, said they would make a decision on legal action after the Christmas holiday.

Judge Traverso ruled it was not necessary for Mr Dewani to give evidence, saying a defendant was entitled to be discharged if there was no possibility of conviction unless he entered the witness box and incriminated himself.

She said claims by the chief prosecution witness, cab driver Zola Tongo, about the murder were also "highly debatable" and the evidence from the prosecution was "far below" the required threshold.

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Image caption Prosecutors said bisexual Mr Dewani had long planned to get out of the relationship to Swedish-raised Anni

Three men - Tongo, Mziwamadoda Qwabe and gunman Xolile Mngeni - have already been convicted for their part in the murder, which happened during a late-night tour of a township when their chauffeur-driven car was hijacked.

Monde Mbolombo, a self-confessed "middle man" who set up the murder, may also face justice having previously been granted immunity by the state.

The prosecution claimed Mr Dewani wanted to get out of his relationship with Anni, 28, and arranged a car-jacking in which she would be killed.

But the defence team criticised prosecution witnesses and said the case against him was weak.