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Anorak | Shrien Dewani Trial Day 1: Leopold Leisser, Gay Sex And Infertility

Shrien Dewani Trial Day 1: Leopold Leisser, Gay Sex And Infertility

by | 6th, October 2014

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THE trial of Shrien Dewani is up and running. It’s Day 1 for the the Bristol businessman accused of murdering his wife Anni on their South African honeymoon.

He pleads not guilty.

The prosecution have called Leopold Leisser, a German-born male prostitute. He claims Mr Dewani paid him up to £400 a session for fetishist sex involving racial humiliation and drug taking.

The Times:

However, in a string of admissions through his lawyer, Francois van Zyl, at the Western Cape high court, Mr Dewani pre-emptively confessed to seeing Mr Leisser. He choked back tears and stared at the ground as a video of his wife’s body at the crime scene in Khayelitsha, a Cape Town township, was shown to the court. There were gasps in the court as a policeman opened the car door, revealing Mrs Dewani slumped on the back seat, still in her cocktail dress and high heels, her hair blowing in the wind.

Mr Dewani is represented by Francois van Zyll:

He said the couple had been driving through Gugulethu township, returning from a sushi dinner, when they were hijacked. “The next thing I remember was banging noises coming from the front and the right hand side of the car. There was a lot of shouting in a language I did not understand. The next thing I recall is somebody next to me who told me to lie down. This person had a gun in his hand… he was waving the gun in the air. He shouted: ‘Look down! Lie down!’ We were both terrified and we immediately complied with his demands. I was lying half on top of Anni.”

And this is interesting:

Mr Dewani also explained a secretive drive he had made with Zola Tongo, the taxi driver convicted of Mrs Dewani’s murder, during which Tongo said Mr Dewani asked him to arrange the murder. On Mr Dewani’s account, he was trying to arrange a private helicopter ride over Cape Town as a surprise for his new bride.

He said that he gave Tongo 1,000 rand (£55) after the murder, in a meeting they had in the Cape Grace hotel, because the latter had complained to him that he was being hounded by the media, and Mr Dewani felt sorry for him.

The BBC:

Prosecutors argue that Mr Dewani conspired with Cape Town residents Zola Tongo, Mziwamadoda Qwabe and Xolile Mngeni to kill his wife. The court heard forensic evidence that the fatal shot was delivered “at close range”, with a suggestion that Mrs Dewani might have been grabbing on to “someone or something” at the time she died.

And the sex?

Through defence lawyer Francois Van Zyl, Mr Dewani said he had “had sexual interaction with both males and females”.

“I consider myself to be bisexual,” the court was told.

“My sexual interactions with males were mostly physical experiences or email chats with people I met online or in clubs, including prostitutes,” Mr Dewani’s witness statement said.

Extracts of a letter from Shrien Dewani to Anni, dated May 2010:

Dear Anni,

I realise we are very different but I have always believed in a relationship you can work through those differences. When we first met I immediately liked you … And no not just because you are pretty … but because you made me laugh.

I have always wanted a girl that I can be friends with. One that understands me – and I know that that is not easy. I know that I am so focussed that some people think I am intense. I am focussed on achieving things in life.

I really do love you, and hence I don’t want you to be unhappy. I want to be with you forever but not if that makes you unhappy … that I could not bear … I really hope we work this out.

I am really sorry that I have made you feel like this. You are so precious to me – I know I don’t always show it. I often find it difficult to show how much you mean to me … But please do not think this is because I don’t love you.

Speak to you later

Love always

Shrien

The Guardian has other news:

Dewani said he met Anni, from Sweden, on 30 May 2009 after a mutual friend gave him her contact details. “On our first date I was instantly physically attracted to her, loved her bubbly personality and sensed that there was mutual chemistry,” he said in the statement. “We fell in love with each other. We were both ambitious and shared a common view of the future. We were both headstrong and often argued with each other.”

In December 2009, he continued, he was informed by an endocrinologist that as a result of abnormally low hormone levels, he may have fertility problems. The specialist recommended that if Dewani wanted to improve his chances of having children in the future he should start testosterone replacement therapy. Dewani said he discussed the problem with Anni.

After a few turbulent months, Dewani hired a private jet to take him and Anni to Paris, where he proposed marriage in June 2010. They were married in India a few months later and went to South Africa on honeymoon.

Prosecutors argue that Dewani then conspired with Cape Town residents Zola Tongo, Mziwamadoda Qwabe and Xolile Mngeni to kill his wife. The three men are already serving jail terms in connection with the murder.

Dewani claimed.

“I recall there was some discussion about what Africa is really like…. [They went for  drive.] The next thing I remember was banging noises coming from the front and the right-hand side of the car. There was a lot of shouting in a language I did not understand. The next thing I recall is somebody next to me who told me to lie down. This person had a gun in his hand; I cannot recall which hand. He was waving the gun in the air. He shouted: ‘Look down! Lie down!’ We were both terrified and we immediately complied with his demands. I was lying half on top of Anni. Another person was behind the steering wheel. I do not know where Tongo was at that stage…. I pleaded with them to let us go. I remember my watch going off my right wrist but I am not sure of the exact sequence of the events. At some point the person with the gun shouted, ‘phone!’ and ‘money!’. I gave him all the money which I had on me. At that point I hid my phone in my trouser pocket… He then said ‘phone?’ to me. He searched me and found my phone in my trousers. He got angry. He placed the gun against my left ear and said words to the effect that I should not lie to him or he would shoot me. I heard a clicking noise from the gun which scared me even more. I have never been close to a real gun before. Anni was screaming. They both instructed me to tell Anni to keep quiet. The driver said that they were not going to hurt us, they just wanted the car and they were going to let us go separately. I begged them to let us go together… The next thing I remember, they were both shouting at me to get out. I pleaded with them to let us both go. They refused. The driver said they would leave Anni at the police station. I insisted that we both have to stay together. They became angrier and shouted at me to get out. The one with the gun put it to my head again and threatened to shoot me if I did not get out. I tried to open the door but it would not open. I recall the window opening. I recall hitting the ground and the car speeding away. The last thing I had said to Anni was to be quiet and not to say anything. I said this to her in Gujarati.”

The Telegraph picks up the story:

Mr Dewani suffered post-traumatic stress disorder after the shooting and fought a four-year battle over extradition back to South Africa on the grounds he was not mentally fit to stand trial.
In April, a panel of High Court judges ruled he was fit and since then he has been an in-patient at a psychiatric hospital in Cape Town.

On Monday morning, he appeared in court promptly and appeared composed, only breaking down briefly when a police video was shown of Mrs Dewani’s lifeless body lying in the back seat of the taxi.

More to follow…



Posted: 6th, October 2014 | In: News Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink