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Dewani trial: Evidence of 'German Master' inadmissable

Judge Jeanette Traverso ruled that male prostitute Leopold Leisser’s evidence is inadmissable.

Leopold Leisser ducks from view in the back seat as he leaves the Western Cape High Court on Monday 27 October 2014 following the judge's decision not to allow his testimony. Picture: Aletta Gardner/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Judge Jeanette Traverso has ruled that evidence relating to a conversation the British businessman Shrien Dewani had with a male escort is inadmissible.

Earlier, the prosecution in the honeymoon murder trial told the Western Cape High Court that Dewani's relationship with a male escort and a disclosure he made to him cannot be ruled as inadmissible.

The British businessman is accused of orchestrating his wife, Anni Hindocha Dewani's murder, while the couple were on their honeymoon in Cape Town almost four years ago.

Anni was shot dead in apparent staged hijacking in Khayelitsha in November 2010.

Her husband was extradited to South Africa earlier this year, to stand trial for his part in her death.

Three South African men have already been sentenced to lengthy prison terms for their part in the crime.

But just last week, one of them died following a battle with cancer.

The state believes the evidence was relevant for the purpose of establishing a motive.

The purpose of male escort, Leopold Leisser's testimony was to present the content of a discussion he had with Dewani on the 17 April 2010, in which the Briton allegedly said he didn't know how to avoid getting married without being disowned by his family.

The prosecution says the evidence will also show Dewani was engaged in a commercial sexual relationship with Leisser, while in a relationship with his future wife at the time.

The state argued the evidence was relevant not only to prove motive but it would also help the court in evaluating the probability that Dewani was conspiring to murder his wife.

But the Defence hit back, saying the evidence should not be admitted

After taking a few minutes to consider her decision, the Judge ruled the evidence as inadmissible.

TESTIMONY CUT SHORT

On Monday, Judge Traverso cut short the testimony of a United Kingdom (UK)-based prostitute, saying she wasn't convinced that it was relevant to the murder trial.

The state has submitted heads of argument to justify calling Leopold Leisser.

Prosecutor Adrian Mopp told the court as far as the legal framework is concerned, evidence of the accused's motive is generally relevant.

He described the evidence as admissible.

In Leisser's statement to police, he said Dewani told him he didn't know how to get out of getting married without being disowned by his family.

Dewani's Lawyer Pieter Botha argued the evidence can't prove or disprove that he had a motive to kill.

He told court neither the accused nor the deceased were forced into this relationship.

The court has adjourned so that Traverso can make a final decision on the matter.

For more on Shrien Dewani, click here.

Or follow proceedings on EWN's live Dewani trial blog.

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