Father stands by honeymoon accused

The father of a British businessman accused of murdering his bride on honeymoon broke his silence yesterday to insist: "I know he is innocent."

Prakash Dewani said the entire family believes his son Shrien is innocent of claims by the South African authorities that he murdered his bride Anni by hiring a hitman to shoot her last November.

Shrien Dewani, who is said to be suffering post traumatic stress, broke down in tears at a bail hearing in Belmarsh magistrates' court as his father, speaking in the witness box, expressed fears his son would be "beaten or tortured" if sent to stand trial in South Africa.

Mr Dewani said that his son's safety must be assured: "I want him to prove himself he is innocent. My wife, my family, every one of us support him."

An application by lawyers to revoke bail was dismissed, though the conditions were tightened after the court heard Shrien Dewani took an overdose of pills on Sunday. South Africa wants him extradited to stand trial for murder.