Bristol

Shrien Dewani 'framed in botched kidnap by taxi driver'

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Media captionCCTV of Dewani meeting Tongo, the man convicted of arranging wife's murder

Shrien Dewani was framed by a taxi driver in a botched kidnap attempt that led to the murder of his new wife in South Africa, a court has heard.

Testimony from convict Bernard Mitchell, who claims he spoke to driver Zola Tongo in prison, was read by Mr Dewani's defence in court.

Tongo is serving an 18-year jail term for his part in British businessman Mr Dewani's wife Anni's murder.

Mr Dewani denies arranging for his wife to be killed in Cape Town, in 2010.

In court, defence lawyer Francois van Zyl gave Mitchell's account of his conversation with Tongo, referring to the plot to get Mr Dewani to pay a ransom for Mrs Dewani's return.

'Off the rails'

Mr van Zyl said Tongo told Mitchell people he said were involved in the plot had "jeopardised the whole plan".

"You explained to him when he asked what you mean, that the plan was to kidnap her and to hold her hostage but that the whole plan went off the rails when your accusers were on the way with her to a place they wanted to keep her and one of them wanted to rape her," Mr van Zyl said.

"A quarrel ensued and she was shot. You were informed of this.

"You further told him you then thought about blackmailing Shrien Dewani or threatening him that if he does not pay the money, you will tell the police that he asked you to kill his wife.

"You were advised this was a stupid plan, that you were in trouble and it will be better to frame Dewani and to tell the police that the accused Shrien Dewani, asked you to kill his wife to take the spotlight off you and the other."

Tongo denied to the court he knew Mitchell and said his account was "all lies".

Earlier in the case, Tongo told the court Dewani offered him about $2,100 (£1,340) to set up the carjacking and the trial has been shown CCTV of both men meeting at the hotel where the honeymooning couple were staying.

However, Mr van Zyl told the court Mr Dewani had met Tongo in order to arrange a helicopter trip for him and his wife, a claim Tongo has denied.

The trial continues.

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