Shrien Dewani: Honeymoon murder suspect suffers extradition setback

Three High Court judges also refused to certify that his case raised issues that should go before Supreme Court

Honeymoon murder suspect Shrien Dewani has lost his latest legal bid to block extradition to South Africa, but his lawyers suggest the marathon legal battle could yet continue.

Three High Court judges today rejected all of his current grounds of appeal against removal from the UK and also refused to certify that his case raised issues of general public importance that should go before the Supreme Court, the highest court in the land.

Hugo Keith QC, appearing for the South African government, called for an end to legal proceedings that have gone on for over three years and for extradition to proceed, saying "enough is enough".

But Mark Summers, representing Dewani, 33, from Bristol, told Lord Chief Justice Lord Thomas and two other judges in London that there was now "fresh evidence" relating to the millionaire businessman's mental health that could justify yet another reopening of his appeal.

Dewani has argued that he should not be forced from the UK to face trial over wife Anni's death until he has recovered from mental health problems, including depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.

He is accused of ordering the killing of 28-year-old Anni, who was shot as the couple travelled in a taxi on the outskirts of Cape Town whilst on honeymoon in November 2010.

Mr Summers said the fresh evidence appeared to indicate that "that his underlying medical condition may be chronic - incapable of being treated".

Time was needed for medical experts to assess that evidence and its "possible implications", said Mr Summers.

Dewani is compulsorily detained in hospital under the Mental Health Act,

Mr Summers applied to the judges to delay formally "pronouncing" their decision for 14 days so that the 28-day period allowed for extradition would not begin to run immediately after their ruling.

He said the move was necessary to give doctors additional time to prepare new medical reports.

Refusing the application, Lord Thomas said: "The provisions of the Extradition Act are designed to ensure extradition is a speedy process.

"I therefore pronounce today. Any period that is applicable under the relevant legislation will run from today."

In court, Mr Summers conceded that the fresh medical evidence was currently not sufficient to justify an application to reopen the appeal.

The judge's decision raises a prospect of a race against time by Dewani's legal team to come up with sufficient material for an appeal - or consider taking their case to Europe.

Today's "last-ditch" appeal followed a ruling in January by Lord Thomas, Mr Justice Ouseley and Mr Justice Blake that it would not be "unjust and oppressive" to extradite Dewani if an undertaking was given by the South African government relating to how long he would be kept in the country without trial if his illness continues.

The South African authorities gave the necessary assurances, but Dewani's lawyers argued they were legally flawed on a number of grounds, including that they should have been given at a higher level.

Dismissing the challenge, Lord Thomas said: "We are satisfied that the undertaking given by the state of South Africa is in compliance with the undertaking we required in our judgment, and it is properly authorised by the state of South Africa."

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 had been "torture" for the family.

PA

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
US comedian Bill Mahr
people
Voices
Winston Churchill, then prime minister, outside No 10 in June 1943
voicesA C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Sport
football
News
Rob Lowe
peopleRob Lowe hits out at Obama's snub of Benjamin Netanyahu
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
News
Davies (let) says: 'Everybody thought we were having an affair. It was never true!'
people'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
Arts and Entertainment
Over their 20 years, the band has built a community of dedicated followers the world over
music
News
Staff assemble outside the old City Road offices in London
mediaThe stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century at Britain's youngest paper
Life and Style
The Oliver twins, Philip and Andrew, at work creating the 'Dizzy' arcade-adventure games in 1988
techDocumentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Arts and Entertainment
Krall says: 'My hero player-singer is Elton John I used to listen to him as a child, every single record
music
News
Friends for life … some professionals think loneliness is more worrying than obesity
scienceSocial contact is good for our sense of wellbeing - but it's a myth that loneliness kills, say researchers
Arts and Entertainment
The Wu-Tang Clan will sell only one copy of their album Once Upon A Time In Shaolin
musicWu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own only copies of their latest albums
News
i100
Environment
Number so freshwater mussels in Cumbria have plummeted from up to three million in the 20th century to 500,000
environment
Life and Style
Models – and musicians – on the catwalk in Dior Homme for the men’s 2015/16 fashion show in Paris
fashionAt this season's Paris shows, various labels played with the city boys' favourite
News
i100
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project
Diana Krall: The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai

Diana Krall interview

The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai
Pinstriped for action: A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter

Pinstriped for action

A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter
Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: 'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'

Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: How we met

'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef serves up his favourite Japanese dishes

Bill Granger's Japanese recipes

Stock up on mirin, soy and miso and you have the makings of everyday Japanese cuisine
Michael Calvin: How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us

Michael Calvin's Last Word

How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us