UK & World News
Dewani Uncle Criticises BBC Over Documentary
The uncle of murdered honeymooner Anni Dewani has accused documentary makers of interfering in the justice system ahead of a programme raising questions about the case against her alleged killer.
Ashok Hindocha, the uncle of Anni Dewani who was killed in South Africa in November 2010, said it is up for a court to look at allegations against her former husband Shrien.
He is accused of ordering the murder of his new bride, who was shot in the neck as the couple travelled in a taxi in the outskirts of Cape Town.
A team from BBC series Panorama has obtained police files concerning the prosecution case against Shrien Dewani and has asked forensic experts to examine them.
A BBC spokesman said the experts' findings have exposed "fundamental failings" in the police investigation, and it is in the public interest for them to be aired.
The programme is due to be broadcast next Thursday.
But Mr Hindocha told Sky News that the BBC should pull the programme, and instead hand over the documents to Dewani's defence.
"What the BBC is doing is not correct. This programme should not be run before the trial.
"Justice should be served in a court of law. Let's cross-examine, put the evidence on the table, let everyone see.
"Has all the evidence been presented to the BBC? I don't know.
"The case should be done in a court of law, not in a studio somewhere with public funding. No, that is very wrong."
In July District Judge Howard Riddle ruled that Dewani should be extradited to face trial in South Africa, now that the 33-year-old has recovered sufficiently from mental health problems.
But lawyers acting for Dewani immediately announced their intention to appeal, and are expected to continue with their legal fight next month.
A BBC spokesman said: "BBC Panorama has obtained the secret police files which make up the prosecution case against Shrien Dewani and has commissioned leading forensic experts to review all the evidence.
"Their findings expose fundamental failings in the police investigation.
"Panorama strongly believes it is in the public interest for these matters to be aired.
"We understand that the programme may be difficult viewing for Anni's family and have approached it sensitively, including contacting her uncle, as the representative of the family, in advance, to let him know that it would air on September 19.
"We received replies from Mr Hindocha which did not raise these objections.
"The police evidence we have obtained is neither manufactured nor stolen, nor did we pay for it."
Dewani has undergone treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder and depression at psychiatric hospitals near Bristol since his wife's death.
It emerged that he has been allowed to position a camper van in the grounds of Fromeside hospital, where he spends hours at a time, and is also allowed unregulated access to a laptop and visits to his nearby home every day.
A spokesman for Dewani family told Sky News: "Shrien was committed to clearing his name in a court of law when he was fit and well enough to travel."
So far three men have been convicted over Mrs Dewani's death.
Last year South African Xolile Mngeni was convicted of premeditated murder for shooting her.
Prosecutors claimed that he was a hitman hired by Dewani to kill his wife, something that Dewani has consistently denied.
Taxi driver Zola Tongo was jailed for 18 years after he admitted his part in the killing, and another accomplice, Mziwamadoda Qwabe, also pleaded guilty to murder and was handed a 25-year prison sentence.
The programme calls into question their testimony.