Here is the scenario: A newlywed Hindu couple on a dream honeymoon in South Africa. On a sightseeing trip they make a detour to a notorious part of town. The car is hijacked by bad guys. Later, the man is discovered alive and apparently unharmed, but his bride's body has been dumped by the roadside. Suspicion has fallen on the husband because the taxi driver has claimed he was paid by the husband to set up the hijack and the killing of his wife.
Those are the facts. The rest is at present, conjecture. I am not a detective but...
I'll go for motive first and why this was not necessarily a random and everyday murder. The defendant is described as a millionaire. Further investigation reveals his company was heavily in debt, to the tune of £4.1 million (estimates vary and one report put the figure at £6 million). Could money be the motive? Hindu marriages still attract the payment of a dowry, though the practice is frowned upon. Was a dowry paid? Did the defendant insure the life of his bride? Certainly, the defendant badly needed money.
But given the complex logic of the murdering mind it would be unwise at this stage to rule out other motives that may come to light as a result of further investigation and interviewing of the defendant.
The cab driver's tesitmony is here.
Next we come to the extraordinary sequence of events. Picture the scene, as you would if it was you or I involved. If it became clear that my wife and I were to be separated, I like to think I would put up some sort of a fight. The defendant did not. He was released from the car unharmed. In a real situation everybody would be panicky and hyper. I cannot imagine escaping from this unscathed. Besides, if the intention of the hijackers was robbery and murder, why leave a key witness alive? Why murder one and not the other? Either you rob them and let them go, or kill them both. At the very least you would expect the husband to have incurred some sort of injury. He did not escape from the car, he apparently got out. If it was me you would have had to tear my wife from my arms and do me damage in order to get away with this. No sane man would walk away unhurt.
So there it is, or at least some of what I have been able to glean from reports. No doubt more will come out. I ask members of the jury, what sane loving husband would walk away from his beautiful wife without some struggle? Can you believe the testimony of the cab driver who tells us that the defendant ordered the murder? Could a motive be the defendant's considerable debts? Why did the killers murder the wife and not the husband? If the plan was robbery, why not divest the couple of their valuables and dump them both. Why did the defendant change his plans and ask the taxi driver to visit a restaurant he knew to be closed, in a dangerous part of town? Why did the defendant instruct Max Clifford to handle the publicity? There are only two reasons why people go to a publicist - either to keep them out of the news, or in it, for a lot of money.
Ladies and Gentlemen of the jury, I suggest to you that there is only one verdict you can reach given the compelling facts of this case.