Murder case of Swedish honeymooner postponed

The murder case of three men accused of killing a Swedish honeymooning tourist was postponed in Cape Town on Monday for a week to allow further investigation and finalise a plea bargain with one of the accused.

Murder case of Swedish honeymooner postponed

“The matter is remanded until next Monday,” magistrate Jackie Redelinghuys told the court, ordering the three suspects back into custody.

The three are charged with murdering 28-year-old Anni Dewani after hijacking the taxi in which she was travelling with her British husband on November 13 on the outskirts of Cape Town.

William da Grass, attorney for one of the accused Zola Tongo, told the court that negotiations for his client to agree to a plea bargain turn state witness could be finalised by Monday. Tongo was the driver of the vehicle in which the couple were abducted.

“The possibility exists…that we may possibly conclude these negotiations and the plea bargain come the next appearance,” Da Grass told the Wynberg regional court.

Newlywed husband Shrien Dewani was released unhurt on the outskirts of Cape Town, but his wife was kidnapped and shot dead. Her body was later found in the hijacked vehicle in an impoverished township neighbourhood.

She was also robbed of a Giorgio Armani ladies wristwatch, a white gold and diamond bracelet, a handbag and a BlackBerry mobile telephone, the charge sheet states.

Tongo, along with Mziwamadoda Qwabe, 25 and Xolile Mngeni, 23, are charged with murder, robbery with aggravating circumstances and kidnapping.

The charge sheet states that “the murder was planned or premeditated and committed by a person, group of persons or syndicate acting in the furtherance of a common purpose of conspiracy.”

If negotiations with the state are successful, Tongo’s attorney said his client’s plea and sentencing could take place on Monday. A police identity parade took place at the weekend but Dewani did not attend, local media reported.

“My client has not been asked to come to South Africa. He has not been asked to participate in an ID parade and he is not in South Africa,” Billy Gundelfinger, a South African lawyer acting for Dewani told South Africa’s Sunday Times.

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Attacker ‘severely disturbed’ during stabbing at Swedish political festival

Theodor Engström, the 33-year-old man who stabbed psychiatrist Ing-Marie Wieselgren to death at the Almedalen political festival in July, was seriously psychiatrically disturbed at the time of his attack, forensic psychiatrists have ruled.

Attacker 'severely disturbed' during stabbing at Swedish political festival

According to the Hela Gotland newspaper the Swedish National Board of Forensic Medicine has ruled that the man was so disturbed at the time of his attack he had lost the ability to understand the consequences of his actions, and has as a result recommended that he be given psychiatric treatment rather than a prison term.

The agency said that Engström had still been disturbed at the time he was given psychiatric assessment, and warned that there was a risk that Engström would commit further criminal acts. 

“This is a question which has relevance at a future stage,” said prosecutor Henrik Olin. “It means he cannot be sentenced to jail, but will instead receive psychiatric care. But it is not going to change how the investigation is carried out.” 

READ ALSO: What do we know about the Almedalen knife attack?

Engström stabbed Wieselgren, who worked as psychiatric coordinator for the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions, as she was on the way to take part on a discussion at the Almedalen political festival. She died in hospital later that day. 

Engström has admitted to carrying out the attack, telling police that he intended to make a protest against the state of psychiatric healthcare in Sweden.