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News Digest: Dewani flies out of South Africa after collapse of his murder trial

By Staff Reporters

Former murder suspect Shrien Dewani yesterday left South Africa after being cleared of plotting his wife Anni's death on their honeymoon four years ago.

The 34-year-old millionaire businessman faced questions from reporters as he headed straight for the boarding gate at Cape Town International Airport. He flew to Dubai rather than take a 12-hour direct flight to the UK, from where he was extradited in April.

Judge Jeanette Traverso cleared Dewani after ruling that the prosecution case against the bisexual care home boss was flawed. That ruling prompted an angry response from Anni's family, who are now pondering whether to launch a civil action against her husband in the UK.

Police alert over 'cop kidnap plot'

Counter-terror police are investigating a possible threat against serving officers in what has been described as a "fast-moving and dynamic" inquiry.

Officers and staff with West Midlands Police were called in to special briefings overnight and security measures were stepped up after the force received an anonymous tip-off.

Police would not confirm the details, but did not deny reports there had been a threat to kidnap and kill a police officer.

West Midlands Counter Terrorism Unit is now leading an investigation.

Assistant Chief Constable Garry Forsyth said the force takes any threat to its officers' safety seriously but added that it is "business as usual".

He said: "It's really important to stress there is no information we've received that indicates any threat to the public, and this relates purely to officers and staff.

"We've taken appropriate measures to ensure our staff have the information they need to continue to provide the business they do, day in and day out."

Officers were advised not to come to work or go off shift in uniform, and were reminded about police station security.

Pursuit of rape claim woman correct

A decision to pursue a criminal case against a woman accused of making a false rape claim, who committed suicide days before her trial, was "correct", the UK's top prosecutor said.

Eleanor de Freitas (23) took her own life in April, three days before her trial for perverting the course of justice was to start at Southwark Crown Court.

Director of Public Prosecutions Alison Saunders carried out an examination into the case of Miss de Freitas, who had bipolar disorder and had been sectioned in a mental health unit in the past. She said: "Having considered the detail and the issues raised by the family, I am satisfied that the decision-making in this case was correct and that it was made in accordance with our policies and guidance."

The Metropolitan Police received an allegation of rape from Miss de Freitas in January last year but the case was dropped due to lack of evidence.

The man initiated a private prosecution against her to clear his name. The case was referred to the Crown Prosecution Service, which decided to continue with proceedings.

Nazi won't face trial over 1944 massacre in France

A German court has thrown out the case of a former SS man accused of involvement in the largest civilian massacre in Nazi-occupied France at Oradour-sur-Glane.

The state court said there is not enough evidence to bring 89-year-old Werner C to trial for accessory to murder in connection with the 1944 slaughter, in which 642 men, women and children were killed. The court said the suspect, whose surname was not released in line with German privacy laws, does not deny being in the village but said he was not involved.

Taxi service banned after driver is accused of rape

The Indian capital has banned taxi-booking service Uber after a woman accused one of its drivers of raping her.

Transport official Satish Mathur made the announcement as the 32-year-old suspect appeared in court. The court ordered Shiv Kumar Yadav to be held for three days over allegations that he raped the woman after being hired to ferry her home on Friday night.

The case has renewed national anger over sexual violence in India and demands for more effort to ensure women's safety.

Belfast Telegraph


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