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Dewani trial: Anni died from gunshot wound to neck

The Western Cape High Court heard in great detail the injuries Anni Dewani sustained prior to her death.

Anni Dewani was murdered in Cape Town on 13 November, 2010.

CAPE TOWN - The Western Cape High Court has heard British bride Anni Dewani died as a result of a gunshot wound to the neck.

Pathologist Janette Verster began testifying on day one of the trial of Anni's husband Shrien who is accused of masterminding her murder in an alleged staged hijacking in Cape Town in November 2010.

Anni's body was found in an abandoned car in Khayelitsha following an apparent staged hijacking.

Shrien was implicated in his wife's death by three co-accused who agreed to testify for the state in exchange for lesser sentences.

He has pleaded not guilty to all five charges against him including kidnapping, robbery with aggravated circumstances and murder.

The court heard in great detail the injuries Anni sustained prior to hear death.

Verster told the court a gunshot wound to the neck resulted in her death.

She went on to describe how Anni bled to death from the gunshot wound.

The court heard there were bruises on her leg which suggest she was grabbed.

Anni's family listened closely to the doctors testimony and can at times be seen looking away.

On the other side of the room Shrien's relatives watch on.

Shrien's lawyer has begun cross-examining the pathologist.

He used a picture of the hand wound to illustrate the entrance of the bullet.

Earlier, Verster testified that there were no signs Anni was raped before her death.

In a police statement Shrien outlined the last days he spent with Anni before her murder.

He said that they were enjoying a meal at a restaurant in Strand when he received a text from Zolo Tongo.

He thought it was about a helicopter trip Tongo was arranging for them.

In an SMS sent to him, Shrien states that he had "sorted it out," referring to the helicopter tour.

Once they were in Gugulethu, Shrien says a man with a gun confronted them.

He claims he pleaded with the apparent hijacker to let them go and they were forced out of the vehicle.

The British businessman also earlier admitted to being bisexual and revealed intimate details about his relationship with his bride.

When asked to plead, Shrien told the court in a clear voice that he was not guilty of the five charges against him.

His lawyer Francois van Zyl then read out a prepared statement on his client's behalf.

He said his sexual interactions with men were mostly physical encounters or email chats, including interactions with a male prostitute.

He said he met Anni in May 2009, when a friend gave him her number and there was a mutual chemistry.

However, their relationship had its ups and downs and Anni ended their relationship in early 2010.

But by April, they were again discussing a future together and he proposed on a romantic trip to Paris in June that year.

Shrien became tearful at one point, as his lawyer continued to reveal details about their courtship, their wedding and the tragic honeymoon.

He stared straight ahead throughout proceedings and at times there were tears in his eyes while the Hindocha family stared at the British businessman as he stood in the dock.

(Edited by Gadeeja Abbas)

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