Dewani extradition hearing this week

2011-01-15 15:54

The family of Shrien Dewani, the British man ­accused of orchestrating the murder of his wife Anni in Cape Town last year, have hired a South African law firm to assist him in fighting his extradition, according to reports from Cape Town.

A member of the law firm plans to fly to England shortly.

Shrien’s extradition hearing will be heard in the Westminister Court on Thursday.

Cape Town lawyer William Booth yesterday refused to confirm whether he had been approached by the ­Dewanis. He did say, though, that he had not yet received “formal instructions” from the Dewanis’ legal representatives.

He added that the Dewanis would want a South African ­lawyer in their corner, because he would be in a position to ­provide insight ­into South ­Africa’s judicial ­processes, ­prison conditions and ­highlight cases where ­police investigations have been criticised, such as the Glen ­Agliotti case.

Anni’s father Vinod Hindocha said a trustworthy submission by the South ­African authorities and not the controversial “monkey” remark made by General Bheki Cele about Shrien should ­influence the court’s decision as to whether Shrien would be ­extradited.

Cele had earlier called Shrien “monkey who came from London to have his wife murdered”.

On Wednesday, the police commissioner said: “I am sure I can call someone from here an ape. But it was a crime when I called someone from London an ape.”

Shrien, who was accused by an accomplice, Zola Tongo, of being the mastermind behind Anni’s murder, is currently out on bail of R2.7?million.

Hindocha did not want to speculate on the court’s decision, but said it was up to the judges to decide.

“All we want is for the South African authorities to reliably prepare their case and for the British authorities and jury to consider it as such,” he said.

“We want to know the truth and, yes, he (Shrien) must go to South Africa and explain to the court what happened.”

Shrien’s publicist Max Clifford earlier described Cele’s monkey outburst as “shocking” and now uses every opportunity to say that his client cannot expect a fair hearing in South Africa because of the remark.

According to Hindocha, a possible appeal by Shrien against the extradition would ­adversely affect his family.

“Closure in the case is necessary for the family.”

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