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UK court grants bail to Dewani

NRI businessman Shrien Dewani, accused of hiring a hitman to murder his Indo-Swedish wife Anni on their honeymoon in South Africa, has been granted bail by a UK court after his father insisted his son would go on to prove his innocence.

world Updated: Feb 25, 2011 15:18 IST

NRI businessman Shrien Dewani, accused of hiring a hitman to murder his Indo-Swedish wife Anni on their honeymoon in South Africa, has been granted bail by a UK court after his father insisted his son would go on to prove his innocence.

31-year-old Dewani appeared in Woolwich Crown Court, south London on Thursday after allegedly taking a massive drugs overdose in a bid to kill himself.

The South African authorities, who want to try him for the murder of 28-year-old Anni last year, called for his bail to be revoked and for him to be remanded in custody.

But he was allowed to return to his family home after his father Prakash pledged to ensure he came to no harm.

Care home tycoon Prakash, who is a qualified pharmacist, wept in the witness box as he insisted his son would go on to prove his innocence.

His emotional outburst sparked extraordinary scenes as Dewani, 31, sobbed and wailed uncontrollably in the dock at the court.

According to a report in The Express, the court was told that police feared Dewani might die as he was taken by ambulance to Bristol Royal Infirmary on Sunday night after his sister found him collapsed in his bedroom at the family home in nearby Westbury-on-Trym.

He had swallowed up to 46 tablets including sleeping pills, anti depressants and Valium.

Ben Watson, for the South African authorities, said Dewani took a "massive drug overdose" after telling his family he wanted to take his own life.

He said detaining him in custody was "necessary" for his safety.

Prakash told the court: "Our family is very important to us, my innocent son is even more valued. We will do anything as a family to keep him safe and prove his innocence."