Dewani needs another year, court told

2012-07-31 18:46

London - Honeymoon murder-accused Shrien Dewani needs a year to recover from depression before facing extradition proceedings, a British court heard on Tuesday.

His lawyer Clare Montgomery told the Westminster Magistrate's Court that the process had been hanging over her client like "the sword of Damocles" and he needed "a period of calm", reported the British Press Association.

Dewani, 32, stands accused of plotting his wife Anni's murder in Cape Town in November 2010.

He is being treated for depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Chief Magistrate Howard Riddle adjourned the hearing to 18 September for a psychiatrist, employed by the South African government, to examine Dewani and give the court more information about his condition before making any other decision.

Montgomery said keeping Dewani under medical treatment in Britain for 12 months would speed up his recovery rather than jeopardise it by sending him to South Africa.

According to his psychiatrist, he was making a slow recovery, but one damaging factor was his "constant awareness of the court proceedings", said Montgomery.

She said the mental health tribunal reviewing the report of Dewani's section order - which keeps him in hospital treatment until May 2013 - confirmed his mental condition.

She said Dewani was taking anti-depressants on the advice of his psychiatrist, who believed his depression and PTSD were of moderate severity and had discernibly decreased.

However, there was still the real risk that he may commit suicide, the court heard, and he was unable "to give an account of himself", possibly because he could not remember the crucial events of November 2010.

"This is associated with the post-traumatic stress disorder," Montgomery said.

Dewani’s 28-year-old wife, who was from Sweden, was shot when a taxi the couple was travelling in was hijacked in Gugulethu, on the outskirts of Cape Town.

She was found dead in the back of the abandoned vehicle with a bullet wound to her neck, after taxi driver Zola Tongo drove the newlyweds to the impoverished area.

He and Dewani were ejected by the hijackers before she was driven away and killed.

Tongo, who has admitted to his part in the crime, claimed in a plea agreement with prosecutors that Dewani ordered the hijacking and paid for a "hit" on his wife.

The prosecution asked for a replacement psychiatrist - who could refuse - to be instructed to examine Dewani, but magistrate Riddle requested that the original psychiatrist be asked to reconsider and, if he would not, to be asked why he had changed his mind.

In March, the High Court temporarily halted Dewani’s extradition because of his poor mental health.

Sir John Thomas, the president of the Queen's Bench Division, and Justice Ouseley, ruled it was "unjust and oppressive" to send him to South Africa straight away.

They rejected claims that he should not be extradited on human rights grounds and said it was in the interests of justice that he be extradited "as soon as he is fit".

Ashok Hindocha, the victim’s uncle, said after the hearing that his family desperately needed answers and believed they would get "closure", "the sooner the better".

"I don’t know how much longer the family members can take this pressure psychologically," Hindocha was quoted as saying by the British Press Association.

Hindocha said the family wanted a second psychiatrist to examine Dewani.

"We hope on 18 September we will have some answers."

  • Squeegee - 2012-07-31 18:59

    He will never be "ready". Send him to pappa now!

      Rabbler.Rouser - 2012-07-31 20:05

      These Shabby Shaik tricks have a habit of going on indefinitely.

      kevin.pitzer - 2012-07-31 20:32

      Apart from the type of tourism he thought we were worth can you imagine the article of a few days ago claiming tourism grew.....Did he care at all and how much did he reduce this growth ....He must pay and Polsmoor should become his place of residence ....Fortunately for his insult and obvious intent to discredit our nation through disrespect it is a pity for him they dont have a corner chemist with K.Y on sale.Bring him home as his skill needs to dance for the damage!

      sandra.j.rennie - 2012-07-31 22:51

      Nothing a couple of months of Prozac wouldn't have fixed ! Stalling for time, but it will come Shrien. You are so afraid to come back to this country because you know it is easy to hire a 'killer', and your accomplices are going to sing like canaries !

      preshen.govender.90 - 2012-08-01 08:34

      his got CIV Convict immunodeficiency virus

      nasheenar - 2012-08-01 16:33

      So all criminals should have this right. "I am not ready I need another year to cope with my trial for murderign my wife".What a coward.

  • kim.buren - 2012-07-31 19:01

    Idiot is just dragging it out.

  • - 2012-07-31 19:15

    What about Annie's family? They need closure, and this is taking far too long. If he's innocent, what is he so stressed about?

  • wendy.schneider3 - 2012-07-31 19:15

    he did his homework on south africa when you face become sick. must be family of shaik?

  • george.tunnah.5 - 2012-07-31 19:35

    I am sorry to say but if this were me and I was innocent of this crime I would be shouting it from the top of Table Mountain and making sure every one heard me, But instead he leaves S/A and goes to England and plays the sick card . Leaves me with only one conclussion GUILTY ???

  • avril.pheifferviljoen - 2012-07-31 19:41

    Justice delayed is justice denied.

  • william.letsong.5 - 2012-07-31 19:43

    The co-accused are in jail while the mastermind get protection from the British government, our biggest critics. When the incident happened they (the British) were the first to go out and crit us and now that our police did they work, they refuse to extradite a murderer.

  • Thato Okonkwo Fakudze - 2012-07-31 19:46

    Come to SA, we will give you a medical parole

  • Vince.York - 2012-07-31 19:54

    "Pussy Riot" would see right through this immediately!

  • Nigel Cupido - 2012-07-31 20:06

    NPA keep this guy doped up for as long as u possibly can. He'll be on medical parole too quick if extradited.

  • bob.small.7547 - 2012-07-31 20:09

    His wife was not given the option of an extension of life for another year, at the time of her murder! Stop pussy footing with this driveling little excuse of a man and drag him by his snot nose onto an aero plane and bring him back here to stand accountable for his cowardly inexcusable actions...! Period…!

  • devon.riley.52 - 2012-07-31 20:27

    Oh don't worry Dewani you get zoomer to put in a good word for you you can get medical parole for that

  • @Thabo.Shaku - 2012-07-31 20:32

    What post-traumatic stress!

      joyce.kweyama - 2012-07-31 21:09


  • joyce.kweyama - 2012-07-31 21:13

    Britain playing Big Brother antics Android I thought that colonial behaviour was over. Seems I was wrong.

  • lacrimose.wolf - 2012-07-31 21:43

    Oh please let UK keep him on their own tax bill. The amount of money spent pursuing this crime is political. South African evil doers (of which we have too many) killing South African citizens, go on and on, and, if caught get bail or absurdly low sentences. Then, again, get convicted of the similar crimes over and over as they whirl through the revolving door we call Justice.

  • jacques.vandermerwe.140 - 2012-07-31 22:52

    Diwani has Pre-traumatic stress disorder! He is looking down the barrel and fearing for his future, not his past. Anni's family is being denied justice. Plain and simple.

  • eric.f.moloi - 2012-08-01 02:23

    Ths is a cat-mouse game,come next year,thy have already draw anada dodging game,always step ahead of combined justice system

  • tj.leeto - 2012-08-01 06:15

    Dewani must just come here and face the music already now, he is not the only one \suffering\ from the events of that day. He must just man up, angazos' dina la!!

  • sueelen.vdwalt - 2012-08-01 07:41

    Just a pitty he didnt give his "wife" another year. Scumbag........

  • Virginia - 2012-08-01 07:44

    Who really cares if he is depressed or not???? If he was innocent he would have been very keen to come back to prove it. After that "if" he was cleared of murder, he could be lying on a beach in the Caribbean relaxing without any stress. If he is guilty - oh dear!!! Little problem in SA jail! Lots of time to reflect and plan that Caribbean holiday!

  • Roulon du Toit - 2012-08-01 09:15

    One thing we have to hand to the guy is that he manages to look damned depressed in every damn photograph. I'm tired of seing that face. Let him kill himself.

  • carla.vittori3 - 2012-08-01 09:57

    He wouldn't be so depressed if he hadn't had his wife killed and then tried to cover it up.

  • camp.j - 2012-08-01 10:35

    "but one damaging factor was his constant awareness of the court proceedings" If he is innocent as he claims to be, why are court proceedings a 'damaging factor'. NO WAY will this guy receive an unfair trial, the case is way to big for any possibility of that happening

  • - 2012-08-01 12:40

    Anyone that goes to prison is going to be depression and have post-traumatic stress disorder ??????????? Whats the problem? Send him home to big naaaijyll

  • hannah.p.mostert - 2012-08-01 13:23

    Wow this is a prime example of MONEY doing the talking. amazing if you ever what to see an injustice this is one right here!!!!

  • nasheenar - 2012-08-01 16:32

    What a load of rubbish.Be a man you wimp.

  • hugocoetzee.cpt - 2012-08-08 14:06

    He should get here, get sentenced and then apply for medical parole. Looking at the current trend, he could be out in less than a year.

  • wanita.vanschalkwyk - 2012-08-09 07:23

    He is obviously mentally ill, anyone would loose it facing what he has to, he is petrified because he got caught!! Why is it criminals are treated with such compassion and the innocent get disregarded. He would not have been arrested if there wasn't evidence to prove his involvement.

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