A British newlywed accused of paying to have his bride killed on their honeymoon in South Africa has welcomed the chance to clear his name through the courts.
Shrien Dewani, whose wife Anni was shot dead last month as they visited a township, is being held by Scotland Yard extradition officers after a request from the South African authorities.
Ahead of his hearing at City of Westminster Magistrates’ Court in London, a statement released on his behalf by lawyer Clare Montgomery QC said: “Shrien Dewani had no involvement in the death of his wife Anni.
“He is devastated by her murder and the false allegations that have been made against him and welcomes the chance to clear his name through the courts.
“He will appear before the City of Westminster Magistrates’ Court this afternoon and, in the circumstances, has been advised it would not be right for him to make any further comment outside the court.”
Mr Dewani was arrested on suspicion of conspiring to murder his new bride after a court hearing in South Africa on Tuesday, during which taxi driver Zola Tongo said the 30-year-old businessman offered 15,000 rand (£1,300) to kill her.
The Dewani family has dismissed the allegation as “totally ludicrous”.
Mr Dewani, from Westbury-on-Trym in Bristol, handed himself in at a police station in the south-west English city on Tuesday, the Metropolitan Police said. Swedish Mrs Dewani, 28, was shot dead on November 13 after the couple’s taxi was hijacked in the impoverished Gugulethu township in Cape Town.
Mr Dewani, who was released along with the driver by the carjackers, returned to England after the murder and has always denied any involvement in his wife’s death.
At Western Cape High Court on Tuesday, Tongo claimed the businessman offered £1,300 for the killing just hours after the couple arrived in the country last month. Tongo’s allegation formed part of a plea bargain drawn up with prosecutors at the court, where he was jailed for 18 years for his part in the killing on November 13.