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Huge blow for Dewani 'hitman'

The alleged confession by Xolile Mngeni can be used as evidence in the Anni Dewani murder trial.

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 - The Western Cape High Court on Wednesday ruled that the "confession" of the alleged hitman in the Anni Dewani murder case can be admitted as evidence.

Judge Robert Henney ruled in a trial-within-a-trial that Xolile Mngeni's statement and pointing out of scenes linked to the crime could be used by prosecutors against him.

Mngeni's lawyers claimed he was forced into making his statement and was assaulted by police after his arrest.

Mngeni has pleaded not guilty.

The National Prosecuting Authority's Eric Ntabazalila said, "This is an important step for us because it places him at the scene of the crime and it also allows us to question him on the statements that he made."

Dewani was on honeymoon with her British husband Shrien, who is fighting extradition to South Africa, also wanted to face charges for her murder.

He is reportedly suffering from post-traumatic stress and has denied any involvement in the crime.

Meanwhile, two others are currently serving lengthy sentences for their involvement in the crime.

Mziwamadoda Qwabe is serving 25 years after cutting a deal with the state.

Qwabe maintains Mngeni is the one that fired the shot that killed the 28-year-old bride.