Dewani trial set down for October

2014-06-20 11:00
Murder accused Shrien Dewani in Cape Town. (Leigh-Anne Jansen, Sapa)

Murder accused Shrien Dewani in Cape Town. (Leigh-Anne Jansen, Sapa)

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Pictures emerge of Shrien Dewani in Valkenberg hospital

2014-05-21 14:10

Pictures of a smiling Shrien Dewani have emerged from Valkenberg Hospital, the state psychiatric facility where he is being treated. Watch.WATCH

Cape Town - A judge on Friday set 6 October as the start date for the murder trial of British businessman Shrien Dewani, who is accused of planning the killing of his bride in a staged hijacking while on honeymoon in Cape Town in 2010.

Dewani was extradited from Britain in April after losing a three-year battle to avoid trial in South Africa. Since his arrival, he has been treated at a state psychiatric hospital for post-traumatic stress and depression related to the killing of his Swedish wife, Anni.

A clean-shaven Dewani, wearing a black suit and white shirt, was led down to the holding cells while his family sat close by the dock.

The 34-year-old was implicated in his wife's death by three co-accused who agreed to testify for the State in exchange for lesser sentences. He has denied any involvement in the killing.

Since much of Dewani's extradition fight centred on his mental health, the court ordered that he be assessed by a panel of experts over 30 days so that the question of his fitness to stand trial could be resolved definitively.

"We have no doubt that he is fit to plead," defence lawyer Francois van Zyl said, expressing confidence that Dewani would be ready for trial in October.

Anni Dewani was shot dead in a taxi in November 2010 on the outskirts of Cape Town. Dewani faces a minimum of 25 years if found guilty of the five charges he faces.

Read more on:    anni hindocha  |  shrien dewani  |  cape town  |  honeymoon hijacking  |  dewani trial

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