Dewani defence studies video footage

Xolile Mngeni (L) and Mziwamadoda Qwabe (R), accused in the murder of honeymooner Anni Dewani, appear in the Western Cape High Court in Cape Town on Friday, 10 February 2012. Picture: Nardus Engelbrecht/SAPA

CAPE TOWN - Lawyers representing Xolile Mngeni, the man accused of shooting Anni Dewani, spent Monday night studying video footage.

They claim the video, which shows Mngeni giving a statement to a police captain in 2010, was doctored.

They say Mngeni was assaulted and told what to say.

Anni Dewani was killed while on honeymoon with her husband Shrien in November 2010.

It is alleged Shrien plotted to have his wife killed and hire several local men to carry out the hit.

Mngeni's defence team also disputed the statement itself and suggested the video excludes certain parts where he was told what to say.

The National Prosecuting Authority's Eric Ntabazalila explained that the defence was "even contesting the authenticity of the video."

He added further that Mngeni's lawyers was alleging people were regularly entering and leaving the room in which the suspect was making his statement.

In the video, Mngeni volunteers to make a statement, despite claims made to the contrary.

Ntabazalila said: “They highlighted four points in their dispute; the first was that Mngeni was not afforded the opportunity for a legal representative, he was interrogated for a long period of time and he was assaulted.”

The trial within a trial continues on to day 16 in the Western Cape High Court on Tuesday at 10am.

(Edited by Tamsin Wort) 

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