Gay prostitute barred from giving evidence in Shrien Dewani murder trial
A gay male escort has been stopped from giving evidence in the murder trial of British millionaire Shrien Dewani.
Mr Dewani is standing trial in South Africa, accused of arranging a plot to kill his wife during their honeymoon.
Care home owner Dewani was in 2011 extradited from the UK to face trial for conspiracy to commit kidnapping, robbery with aggravating circumstances, murder, kidnapping and defeating the ends of justice. Prior to that, he was treated in hospital for depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.
The court previously heard that he is bisexual and slept with male prostitutes.
However, the prosecution suffered a setback today after Birmingham prostitute Leopold Leisser took to the stand – when his evidence was denied.
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After Mr Dewani’s defence attorneys objected to his testimony, detailing the pair’s sexual encounters, Judge Jeanette Traverso ruled that he should be removed from the stand.
Mr Leisser had previously alleged that Mr Dewani arranged the killing because he “needed to find a way out” of the marriage.
The court heard today that Mr Dewani had paid for sex on three separate occasions – most recently in April 2010, seven months before the death of Anni Dewani.
The judge ordered that Mr Leisser should stand down, until she had heard the legal argument for the relevance of his testimony.
Dewani has always denied paying three men to kill Anni following their £200,000 Mumbai wedding. Prosecutors argue that he conspired with Zola Tongo, Mziwamadoda Qwabe and Xolile Mngeni, in a plan to murder Mrs Dewani.
The three were all serving jail terms in connection with the murder – but Xolile Mngeni died earlier this month.
Tongo was originally sentenced to 18 years in jail for his part in the death. His sentence was reduced from 25 years after he implicated the British businessman in the killing.
The case continues.