Cape Town -The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) says the apparent leaking of the police docket in the Anni Dewani murder case is being probed.
Her family asked for the investigation.
This followed the airing by UK channel BBC One of a Panorama documentary last week, The Honeymoon Murder: Who Killed Anni?, which questioned whether the newlywed’s husband, Shrien Dewani, was innocent.
The BBC website said Panorama had “obtained the secret police files which make up the prosecution case” against Dewani.
The documentary, which included forensic experts commissioned by the BBC and whose “findings expose fundamental mistakes… in the police investigation”, made headlines in South Africa and Britain before and after it was initially aired.
About a week ago, Anni’s uncle Ashok Hindocha called on the NPA to investigate how the documents had been leaked. He said he had e-mailed the Western Cape Director of Public Prosecutions, Rodney de Kock.
Speaking to the Cape Times, Hindocha labelled the murder probe “a mess” and said: “Why can’t they keep the papers safe? They should be locked up. This does not look good for the South African authorities.”
On Wednesday, NPA spokesman Eric Ntabazalila said it appeared the BBC had used information that might have come from copies of the police docket in the murder probe.
“Only two copies of the content of the docket were made. The circumstances under which copies of the contents of the docket came into the possession of the BBC are being investigated with a view to determining whether criminal offences were committed by anyone,” he said.
Ntabazalila said copies of the relevant evidence in the police docket had been provided to the legal representatives of Dewani’s co-accused Xolile Mngeni and Mziwamadoda Qwabe. The copies were to be used in the trials against them.
Ntabazalila said the State was obliged by law to provide such information to the accused before their trials started.