CAPE TOWN, South Africa -- A British newlywed paid to have his wife killed while they were on their honeymoon in South Africa, a man convicted in the murder said in a plea-bargain agreement released on Tuesday.
A taxi driver claims Shrien Dewani approached him about killing his new Swedish wife, Anni, the day the couple arrived in South Africa. Her body was found the next day in a Cape Town township; she had been shot in the back of the neck.
Shrien Dewani has denied any involvement in his wife's murder in interviews given to British news outlets, which have been speculating for weeks about his possible role. A celebrity publicist hired by Shrien Dewani dismissed the story told by taxi driver Zola Tongo.
"Coming from a taxi driver who admitted to playing a part in murdering his wife, I think it should be treated with the contempt it deserves," Max Clifford told Sky News. "Let's see what evidence there is to back up these accusations. They have said he (Shrien Dewani) is not a suspect. That is the only true communications that have come out from the official bodies."
Clifford said authorities have not contacted Shrien Dewani, who returned to Britain soon after his wife's body was found.
Mthunzi Mhaga, spokesman for South Africa's national prosecuting office, said Tuesday that a bid to request Shrien Dewani's extradition is "a matter that is likely to be considered" as part of continuing investigations.
"Based on what happened in court today, obviously the investigations are going to intensify," Mhaga said.
Anni Dewani's father, Vinod Hindocha, attended Tuesday's court hearing. As he left, his eyes wet with tears, he thanked South Africans who investigated the case, and people here and around the world who had offered his family support.
"We are very, very confident about the police investigation," Hindocha added.
Tongo said he drove the couple from the airport to their hotel on Nov. 13. Once the wife was out of earshot, the driver said Shrien Dewani asked if he could find someone to kill her. Tongo said Shrien Dewani offered 15,000 rand each (about $2,100), but paid only 1,000 (about $145).
Once Tongo's confession was read in court, a translator asked in Xhosa whether he understood. Tongo, who stood with his eyes lowered throughout the hearing, said he did -- his only comments in court.
The case has drawn wide attention in Britain and in South Africa, where violent crime is high but attacks on foreign tourists are rare.
As a result of his plea bargain, Tongo was convicted and sentenced to 18 years in prison. He was expected to testify against the other suspects, including two South Africans who were arrested soon after Anni Dewani's body was discovered.
Shrien Dewani had told authorities the couple was returning to their hotel from dinner when gunmen forced him and the driver from the vehicle.
Associated Press Writer Gillian Smith in London contributed to this report.