Shrien Dewani to be extradited

2013-07-24 11:30

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Honeymoon murder suspect Shrien Dewani should be extradited to South Africa to stand trial.

Chief Magistrate Howard Riddle made this ruling today in the Westminster Magistrate's Court, in London, despite arguments by his defence team that he could suffer setbacks in his mental health if sent back now, the British Press Association reported.

They wanted the decision delayed by six months. The 33-year-old British businessman had earlier been diagnosed with depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.

The courtroom was packed with murdered Anni Dewani's relatives, who wore photographs of her pinned to their clothes, decorated with pink ribbons.

Riddle said: "It is not in question that Shrien Dewani will be returned to South Africa. The treating clinicians continue to state that Mr Dewani will recover.

"There has been recovery, but it has been slow. It may be a long time before Mr Dewani is fit to plead, but he may be closer to that point. It is not impossible that if returned now, then after a reasonable period of further treatment and assessment he will be found fit to plead and a trial can take place."

Dewani has undergone treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder and depression since his wife's death. Dewani is suspected of ordering the killing of his new wife Anni (28) who was shot as the couple travelled in a taxi on the outskirts of Cape Town in November 2010.

So far three men have been convicted for Anni's death.

Last year, South African Xolile Mngeni was convicted of premeditated murder for shooting her, and sentenced to life imprisonment. Prosecutors claimed he was a hitman Dewani hired to kill his wife, something Dewani has consistently denied.

Taxi driver Zola Tongo was jailed for 18 years after he admitted his part in the killing. Another accomplice, Mziwamadoda Qwabe, also pleaded guilty to murder and was handed a 25-year prison sentence.

Riddle ruled in 2011 that Dewani should be extradited, but this was successfully appealed against and he was ordered to look again at the case.

Dewani's legal team gave no immediate indication whether they would seek to challenge the ruling in the Supreme Court, the UK's highest court.

» This article was updated after first published

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