Dewani trial: Bride's parents desperate for answers

Vinod and Nilam Hindocha, Anni Dewani's parents
Image caption Vinod and Nilam Hindocha, Anni Dewani's parents, at the lake where they scattered her ashes

The parents of murdered bride Anni Dewani say they are desperate for answers ahead of next week's trial of their son-in-law in South Africa.

They told the BBC's Asian Network they would be unable to grieve until they learned the truth.

Shrien Dewani, 34, from Bristol, is accused of hiring a hitman to murder his wife. He denies any involvement.

Mr Dewani was extradited to South Africa in April after a three-year legal battle.

His legal team argued that his mental health was too fragile for him to stand trial.

Anni Dewani was shot dead in Cape Town in November 2010, just days after the couple's wedding in India.

The trial is due to begin on Monday and is expected to last two months.

Empty lives

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Media caption"We think about her every day", the parents of Anni Dewani have said

Mrs Dewani grew up in Sweden and her childhood home is on a quiet road in the small town of Mariestad.

In the garden where she once played with her two siblings, her wooden playhouse remains intact.

Inside, her room is just the way she left it - a single bed in the corner and a side cabinet adorned with cherished pictures from her childhood and teenage years.

"Every day I come into her room and look at the photos and think about her," says Anni's mother, Nilam Hindocha.

"She was a beautiful girl. I remember her smile, her eyes, her beautiful light brown eyes, her hair, the way she spoke. I remember everything about her."

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Image caption Anni Dewani at one of her wedding events

Photos of her as a happy bride are displayed on the walls of her parents' living room.

"She was a charming, lovely and bubbly girl - we miss her so much," says Vinod Hindocha, Anni's father.

"Now everything in our lives is empty, everything is quiet, there is no charm in life any more."

Her ashes were scattered in the peaceful, glistening blue waters of Lake Vanern, where she spent many summer days. This is a place her parents come to recall happy memories of their daughter.

But they say they have been unable to start grieving for their daughter's death because they still do not know the truth about what happened.

Mr Hindocha says the past four years have been "torture".

"We need to know what happened to our beautiful daughter," he says.

"The only thoughts we have in our head are, 'Why did she die?' We need to know the truth."

Three men are currently serving jail terms in South Africa in connection with the death of Mrs Dewani, including taxi driver Zola Tongo, who was jailed for 18 years after admitting his role in the killing.

Xolile Mngeni, who prosecutors claim was the hitman, was convicted of premeditated murder over the shooting.

Another accomplice, Mziwamadoda Qwabe, pleaded guilty to murder and was handed a 25-year prison sentence.

Nilam, 62, who is in remission from cancer, has vowed to be in Cape Town throughout the trial.

She says: "We know it is going to be torture hearing the details of Anni's death, but we will be in court every day.

"We know it's going to be very difficult but we will do anything to get justice. People say time heals wounds, but in our case, the wounds are deeper the longer we live without answers.

"Once this is over, we hope we can move forward with our lives and our Anni can finally be at peace."

You can hear more on this story on BBC Asian Network at 13:00 and 17:00 BST, or listen back on the BBC iPlayer.

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