Dewani's mental health 'has improved'

2013-07-01 17:33
Shrien Dewani (Picture: AFP)

Shrien Dewani (Picture: AFP)

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London - Honeymoon murder accused Shrien Dewani's mental health has improved and he has talked about returning to South Africa to fight a murder charge, a London court heard on Monday.

The British Press Association reported that his depression was now moderate, and not severe.

Dewani, 33, is accused of orchestrating the murder of his wife Anni, who was shot while visiting Gugulethu, Cape Town, in November 2010.

While he has denied any involvement in her murder, he faces extradition to South Africa for trial.

Opening the case for the South African government at Westminster Magistrates' Court, Hugo Keith QC said Dewani's post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression and risk of suicide had all improved.

The businessman, who was excused from attending the hearing, is being treated for the conditions in a mental hospital near Bristol.

"Our case is not that it would be oppressive to extradite him," Keith said.

"We suggest that there has been significant and sustained improvement [in his depression], largely as a result of the administration of drugs, but also due to the grounding techniques and coping therapies, which he has acquired during his time at Fromeside [clinic] and more recently at Blaise View since his transfer to Blaise View [mental health hospital] in January this year."

In April, his PTSD was found to be "considerably less" and was now moderate or severe, rather than severe.

The court heard that Dewani still had a substantial inability to concentrate and poor memory, but he no longer made active references to suicide.

"There are more positive observations about how he wishes to return to fight the case against him," Keith said.

The South African government had offered reassurances that he would be admitted to a mental hospital if he was found to be ill.

If held in jail, he would be kept in a single cell, which would reduce the chance of him being attacked.

Read more on:    anni hindocha  |  shrien dewani  |  honeymoon hijacking

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