Dewani's extradition decision due today

By Drum Digital
30 March 2012

Britain's High Court will on Friday announce its decision on British businessman Shrien Dewani's appeal to avoid extradition to South Africa over the murder of his wife.

The High Court confirmed a decision was due at 10.15am local time, or 11.15am in South Africa, on Friday.

Dewani, from the United Kingdom, has been implicated in the murder of his wife Anni, 28, while they were on honeymoon in December 2010.

The 31-year-old told the media afterwards that they were hijacked as they entered Khayelitsha with their shuttle bus driver Zola Tonga.

Dewani was pushed out of the car, but his wife was later found dead.

He returned to the UK, but the National Prosecuting Authority has subsequently applied for his extradition back to South Africa as the fourth accused in the case.

Dewani lodged an appeal to Britain's high court after Theresa May, the country's interior minister, signed an order for his extradition following a judge's ruling in August that he should be sent to stand trial.

At December's hearing, Dewani's lawyers argued that their client's health and life would be at risk if he were to be extradited and that he was a serious suicide risk.

Driver Tonga was jailed for 18 years after turning State witness and pleading guilty to his part in the killing. He claimed Dewani had ordered the shooting and paid him.

The other two people believed to be implicated in the murder are Mziwamadoda Qwabe and Xolile Mngeni.

The Press Association in the UK reported that the Dewani family said the allegations against him were "deeply flawed".

In a statement released on Thursday night, the family said Dewani was determined to return to South Africa to clear his name and seek justice for his wife.

The correct place to demonstrate his innocence was in a court of law, the statement said, adding: "This can only be done when he is well enough and when his personal safety can be guaranteed.

"The family remain hopeful that the British High Court will block any attempt to extradite Shrien until he has fully recovered and it is safe for him to stand trial, if charged."

The Dewani family's lawyer, Charlotte Harris, of Mishcon de Reya, said in a statement to the Press Association: "Shrien is innocent and has always maintained his commitment to clearing his name of all the false allegations and slurs against him.

"He remains determined to fight for justice for his wife, Anni."

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