Honymoon bride killed in cold blood: South African medico

Sunday, December 26, 2010

LONDON - The Indian-origin bride killed while on honeymoon in South Africa last month was executed in cold blood and had not been sexually assaulted, a paramedic said in his description of the crime scene.

The report written by a paramedic who visited the scene said that Anni Dewani was killed after sustaining wounds to her neck and back.

According to the Daily Mail, the latest report appears to contradict the alleged findings of an investigation by a ballistics expert apparently commissioned by the legal team representing the victim’s husband Shrien Dewani. This apparently found she had been shot through the hand.

The paramedic’s document, officially known in South Africa as a Declaration of Death, was compiled Nov 14, just an hour-and-a-half after police found the body of Anni, 28.

Under the section “description of incident” it states that Anni was discovered “lying on her back and side. Wound to neck and wounds to medial scapula in the middle of her back”.

At the bottom of the document it reads: “Unable to determine if wound in neck is gunshot wound.”

The report makes no mention of injuries to Anni’s hands, which would have been normally possible in case of struggle with her attackers, the British daily said.

“I didn’t see any wounds on her hands. I didn’t examine them but I’m sure if she was shot I would have noticed blood coming from her hands,” a medical officer who attended the scene was quoted as saying.

“The only wounds I noticed were the bullet wounds in her neck and two or three stab wounds on her back from a knife with a blade half-an-inch long.

“Her clothes were intact. There was no sign that there had been an attempted sexual attack or fighting. Her clothes were neat like when you lay a baby down and pull her clothes nicely. There was no evidence of a struggle.

“She looked like someone who had maybe passed out after drinking or had been sedated. It looked as if someone in the passenger seat had leant over and shot her in the neck. I got the definite impression that she was executed.”

Engineering graduate Anni was found dead hours after the honeymoon couple’s taxi was said to have been held up by two men in the Gugulethu township near Cape Town.

The driver of the car, Zola Tongo, 31, was one of three men arrested. He later made a plea bargain with prosecutors, claiming in court he had arranged for the gunmen to stage a carjacking after the victim’s husband offered him 1,400 pounds to murder his wife. Tongo was jailed for 18 years.

Shrien Dewani, from Westbury-on-Trym near Bristol, handed himself in to police and was later released on bail. He will appear in court in January to fight extradition to South Africa.

Two other men, Xolile Mngeni, 23, and Mzwamadoda Qwabe, 26, have also been charged and will stand trial in February.

Filed under: Accidents and Disasters

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