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

The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss