Shrien Dewani
Shrien Dewani denies plotting to have his wife killed in South Africa Getty

Lawyers for the South African honeymoon murder suspect Shrien Dewani have applied to have the case against him thrown out.

The British businessman is accused of organising the murder of his wife, Anni Dewani, and making it look like a botched carjacking in Cape Town in 2010.

Francois van Zyl, Dewani's barrister, has now applied for the case against him to be dismissed due to lack of evidence, after hearing the prosecution's case against the 34-year-old.

If successful, it would mean Dewani would not be asked to give evidence at the trial and the court would return a not guilty verdict. He would also then be free to return to the UK.

The South African state are under great pressure to secure a conviction for Dewani, having spent an estimated £180,000 extraditing him from Britain, following numerous appeals that he was mentally unfit to stand. Three additional witnesses have also been flown over from the UK to give testimonies.

However, the judge at the trial has been critical of the prosecution. Sections of the case have been dismissed, such as descriptions of Dewani's sexuality, which have been deemed irrelevant to the murder trial.

Dewani admitted at the start of the case that he is bisexual and had used male prostitutes, one of whom was a witness in the case.

Judge Jeanette Traverso refused to hear accounts from German escort Leopold Leisser, who Dewani is alleged to have paid to have sadomasochistic sexual encounters with, as well as an exchange of emails between Dewani and an unnamed older man.

The evidence from the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), which includes testimonies from 20 witnesses, has also been criticised as being "very poor" by the South African Law Society, with others claiming the case against Dewani is not as strong as originally thought.

Applying for a case to be dismissed under section 174 of South Africa's Criminal Procedure Act is extremely common in the country's courts, but only a tiny minority are ever granted.

Dewani denies the charges of murder, kidnap, robbery, conspiracy to commit the crimes and defeating the ends of justice.

Xolile Mngeni and Mziwamadoda Qwabe were both given life sentences after admitting murdering Mrs Dewani, with taxi driver Zola Tongo handed a 18-year jail sentence for his part in the killing.