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Extradition date for honeymoon murder accused

Shrien Dewani is accused of ordering wife Annis death. Picture: PA

Shrien Dewani is accused of ordering wife Annis death. Picture: PA

  • by NEIL LANCEFIELD
 

Honeymoon murder suspect Shrien Dewani will be extradited to South Africa on 7 April, the country’s government has said.

The millionaire businessman is expected to arrive in Cape Town the following day, and will then appear in court to face allegations he ordered the killing of his 28-year-old wife Anni in November 2010. He has been engaged in a marathon legal battle to block extradition, but three High Court judges rejected his latest appeal this month.

Dewani, 33, from Bristol, has argued that he should not be forced from the UK to face trial until he has recovered from mental health problems, including depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. His wife was shot as the couple travelled in a taxi on the outskirts of Cape Town while on honeymoon.

Mthunzi Mhaga, justice spokesman for the South African government, said yesterday: “He [Dewani] is expected to leave London on 7 April and land in South Africa on 8 April 2014.

“Upon arrival the National Prosecuting Authority and South African Police Service will cause him to appear in the Western Cape High Court depending on the time of his arrival. He will be kept in a medical facility due to his peculiar condition.

“We are working tirelessly to ensure that his return to our shores brings to finality this protracted legal process. We are confident that he will receive a fair trial in our courts.”

After the High Court ruling, Anni’s father, Vinod Hindocha, said outside the Royal Courts of Justice: “We are quite happy with the decision and we hope to get the answers that we have been seeking for the past three-and-a-half years.

“I really don’t know what happened to my daughter. We need answers. We hope to get justice.”

He added that the lengthy legal process has been “torture” for the family.

Dewani’s lawyers have said at various hearings that he will be willing to defend himself at trial once he is fit to do so, but they say he is unfit to plead under English law and his “prognosis is not certain”.

Dewani, who is compulsorily detained in hospital under the Mental Health Act, is accused of ordering the killing of his new wife Anni on their honeymoon.

The pair were kidnapped at gunpoint as they drove through the Gugulethu township in Cape Town in a taxi in November 2010.

Dewani was later released unharmed.

The next day the body of Mrs Dewani was found in the car. She had injuries to her head and chest.

South African Xolile Mngeni was later convicted of premeditated murder and jailed for life. Prosecutors allege he was hired by Dewani to kill his wife.

Dewani has always denied the accusation and has fought efforts to secure his extradition since it was first ordered by a senior district judge in 2011.

 
 
 

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