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Dewani judge sets deadline

The trial within a trial of Anni Dewani's alleged killer has been given a three-day deadline.

Anni Dewani’s alleged killer Xolile Mngeni and his lawyer Matthews Dayimani in court on 17 September 2012. Picture: Graeme Raubenheimer/EWN

CAPE TOWN - The judge in the Anni Dewani murder trial on Monday set a three-day deadline for alleged hitman Xolile Mngeni's trial within a trial to be completed.

His lawyer claims that Mngeni's confession was made after his client was assaulted and intimidated by police.

But several officials denied the allegations in the Western Cape High Court.

Judge Robert Henney said all the witnesses in the trial within a trial must be heard by Thursday.

Although court is meant to break for a recess next week, it will not do so because Henney wants to hear final arguments before making his ruling.

He will decide whether Mngeni's disputed 2010 confession may be admitted as evidence.

The constable accused of assaulting and torturing Mngeni will appear in court on Tuesday.

Lawyers believe Mngeni was physically manhandled and threatened with suffocation in the basement of the Hawks' Bellville offices.

Earlier on Monday, a Hawks official disputed Mngeni's claims.

The official said Mngeni was cooperative and was never assaulted.

Mngeni is the alleged hitman in Anni's murder, but he has denied all the charges.

Anni was gunned down during a staged hijacking while on honeymoon in November 2010