Honeymoon murder: Shrien Dewani to be extradited to South Africa after court rules he is fit to stand trial

33-year-old businessman accused of organising the killing of his 28-year-old bride Anni, plans to go to High Court to appeal against decision

Honeymoon murder accused Shrien Dewani could be extradited from Britain within weeks to face trial in South Africa after a magistrate’s ruling.

Chief Magistrate Howard Riddle said that it was “not in question that Shrien Dewani will be returned to South Africa”. However, the 33-year-old, who is suspected of planning a hit on his bride Anni, intends to go to the High Court to get leave to appeal the decision, it emerged later in the day.

There have been delays in Mr Dewani’s extradition case caused by his ill-health and he has undergone treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder and depression since his wife’s death.

But District Judge Riddle told Westminster Magistrates Court: “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.”

November 2010: Anni Dewani is believed to have been shot three times Anni Dewani was shot three times in 2010

 

Shrien Dewani has been receiving treatment for depression Shrien Dewani has been receiving treatment for depression

 

Around 30 members of Anni Dewani’s family were in court to hear the decision. They each wore a picture of Mrs Dewani, adorned with a pink ribbon. Speaking outside the court building after the short hearing yesterday morning, they said they wished Mr Dewani a speedy recovery so that he could help them find the answers they seek. They added that they saw yesterday’s proceedings as just one more step down that road, rather than as a major victory.

Mrs Dewani’s sister, Ami Denborg, said: “For us it is all about Anni, it’s all about finding out what happened. We will fight this battle to the end and this battle has just begun.

“We just want to know what happened to Anni and this is one step. It’s been really hard on the family, we are struggling every day.”

Referring to her father Vinod Hindocha, who stood at her side, she added: “Every single time there’s a hearing he stands there, watching, seeing and thinking about Anni. She is always with us.”

So far three men have been convicted over 28-year-old Mrs Dewani’s death, which took place in a taxi on the outskirts of Cape Town in November 2010. Last year South African Xolile Mngeni was convicted of premeditated murder for shooting her. Prosecutors claimed that he was a hitman hired by Dewani to kill his wife, something that Dewani has consistently denied.

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

District Judge 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. Mr Dewani was given 14 days to seek leave to appeal the latest decision. Speaking outside of court, Hugo Keith QC – acting for the South African government – said that any appeal would need to be on a point of law and, should none be forthcoming, Mr Dewani would be removed from the UK soon after that 14-day period was over.

But, in a statement released after the ruling, Mr Dewani’s family said: “Lawyers acting for Shrien Dewani will review today’s judgment and lodge an appeal during which time Shrien will remain in the UK.

“Shrien Dewani remains unfit to be extradited or to face trial. Shrien remains committed to returning to South Africa when his health would permit a full trial and when appropriate protections are in place for his health and safety. The legal process in ongoing and it would be inappropriate to comment further.”

 

Xolile Mngeni was charged in August 2011 Xolile Mngeni was charged in August 2011

 

March 2012: CCTV footage showing Zola Tonga leaving the hotel with a bag CCTV footage of Zola Tonga leaving the hotel with a bag

 

March 2012: CCTV footage shows Shrien Dewani at the hotel CCTV footage of Shrien Dewani at the hotel  

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Where the spooks get their coffee fix: The busiest Starbucks in the US is also the most secretive

The secret CIA Starbucks

The coffee shop is deep inside the agency's forested Virginia compound
Revealed: How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Loch Ness Monster 'sighting'

How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Nessie 'sighting'

The Natural History Museum's chief scientist was dismissed for declaring he had found the monster
One million Britons using food banks, according to Trussell Trust

One million Britons using food banks

Huge surge in number of families dependent on emergency food aid
Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths 2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths trove
The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey, 25 years on

The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey 25 years on

The space telescope was seen as a costly flop on its first release
Did Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

Did Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

A document seen by The Independent shows that a week after he resigned from the Lords he sold 350,000 shares in an American company - netting him $11.2m
Apple's ethnic emojis are being used to make racist comments on social media

Ethnic emojis used in racist comments

They were intended to promote harmony, but have achieved the opposite
Sir Kenneth Branagh interview: 'My bones are in the theatre'

Sir Kenneth Branagh: 'My bones are in the theatre'

The actor-turned-director’s new company will stage five plays from October – including works by Shakespeare and John Osborne
The sloth is now the face (and furry body) of three big advertising campaigns

The sloth is the face of three ad campaigns

Priya Elan discovers why slow and sleepy wins the race for brands in need of a new image
How to run a restaurant: As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food

How to run a restaurant

As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food
Record Store Day: Remembering an era when buying and selling discs were labours of love

Record Store Day: The vinyl countdown

For Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Usher, Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert as part of the Global Poverty Project

Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert

The concert in Washington is part of the Global Citizen project, which aims to encourage young people to donate to charity
10 best tote bags

Accessorise with a stylish shopper this spring: 10 best tote bags

We find carriers with room for all your essentials (and a bit more)
Paul Scholes column: I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England

Paul Scholes column

I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England
Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

The heptathlete has gone from the toast of the nation to being a sleep-deprived mum - but she’s ready to compete again. She just doesn't know how well she'll do...