Bristol

Shrien Dewani trial: Wife 'wanted a divorce'

Shrien Dewani Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Shrien Dewani denies arranging the murder of his wife

Anni Dewani, who was killed while on honeymoon in South Africa in November 2010, had wanted a divorce from her new husband, a court has been told.

Sneha Mashru, Anni's cousin, told Western Cape High Court she confided in her about her relationship.

Shrien Dewani, 34, from Bristol, denies arranging the murder of his wife, who was shot dead in a hijacked taxi.

The court was also told Anni went to a doctor before she left because she was planning to get pregnant.

Ms Mashru told the court the couple had a lot of problems leading up to their wedding.

"That is why after the wedding, when they came back from India, Anni and I were talking about a divorce because she felt like she could not live with Shrien," she said.

She said Anni had told her after the wedding she was not keen to spend time with Mr Dewani because they "did not get on very well".

"She went to have lunch with him and then she came back to the pool and said 'it felt very stiff between us'."

Mr Dewani's lawyer Francois van Zyl told the court medical notes showed Anni visited her doctor just before the honeymoon and told him she was trying to conceive.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Anni Dewani was shot dead in a hijacked taxi in November 2010

In cross-examining of Ms Mashru, Mr van Zyl said: "I have to put it to you that what she told the doctor, that she wanted to become pregnant, that she wanted to get medication, flies in the face of what you told me about divorce."

She replied that when Anni came back from her wedding in India, she told her she did not want to go on honeymoon.

Zola Tongo, Mziwamadoda Qwabe and Xolile Mngeni have already been convicted of their role in Anni's murder. Mngeni died in custody last weekend.

The prosecution argues that Mr Dewani was leading a secret double-life and wanted out of his marriage, so arranged a staged hijacking in which he escaped and Anni was killed.

On the first day of the trial he revealed that he is bisexual.

It was also revealed in court that a male escort, Leo Leisser, claimed he had met with Mr Dewani and tried to sell his story to The Sun newspaper for £30,000.

Before the court case, Mr Dewani denied ever having met Mr Leisser.

The trial, which is expected to last at least until December, continues.

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