The murder case against Shrien Dewani that collapsed in a South African court on Monday was one of the most widely followed cases, with the British news media showing clips about his Bollywood-style wedding in Mumbai and closely reporting his story in detail.
From dancing with Anni to the popular number “Pehla nasha, pehla khumaar... Naya pyar hai, naya intezaar” during their reception in the Lake Powai resort near Mumbai, a scraggy-looking Dewani was seen moving from one court appearances to the next with a dazed look after her murder.
The marriage took place on October 29, 2010, and on their honeymoon to Cape Town, Anni was killed on November 13 , 2010.
Since that fateful day, the case featured prominently in the news media throughout its course.
The judge’s verdict on Monday was telecast live in its entirety in Britain, reflecting public interest in the case that had all the ingredients of a sensational case: the privileged upbringing of one who went on to become a wealthy businessmen, married in style, only to end up facing long extradition hearings and murder charges.
Now 34, Dewani is a free man after the court found him not guilty, even as questions remain about the case and Anni’s Sweden-based family believes justice had been denied to them. He is expected to be back in Britain shortly.
After the extradition hearings, stay in psychiatric homes, move to South Africa to face court after Anni was murdered on 13 November 2010, Dewani’s family based in south-west England is relieved.
Born in Bristol, Dewani was raised in Westbury-on-Trym. After schooling in one of the best private schools, Bristol Grammar School, he read Economics at the University of Manchester and qualified as an accountant.
He worked with consultants Deloitte for some time before resigning to look after the family’s chain of old people’s care homes in the south-west area.
He met Anni in Luton in 2009, and proposed to her in Paris in June 2010, before marrying in Mumbai in October of the year.
After getting married, they were off to South Africa — chosen as a honeymoon destination partly because neither had been there but also because Dewani liked the coincidence that their initials were SA.