The honeymoon murder suspect Shrien Dewani has appeared at a South African court after he was finally extradited from the UK last night.
Mr Dewani’s flight touched down at Cape Town International Airport earlier today, and he taken straight to a hearing at the Western Cape High Court.
The 34-year-old was formally charged with ordering the murder of his wife Anni Dewani, 28, while on their honeymoon in Cape Town in November 2010.
After a brief court appearance, the prosecution and defence agreed he should be remanded to the Valkenberg psychiatric hospital until his next hearing on 12 May.
Scotland Yard confirmed that Mr Dewani had been flown out of the UK last night after he battled for three years against extradition on the grounds that he has mental health problems.
In a statement, his family said: “Shrien remains committed to proving his innocence in a court of law and uncovering the truth behind his wife's murder.
“The extradition process has resulted in a number of assurances being provided by the South African authorities in relation to his continued hospital treatment.
“We are grateful to the South African authorities for these assurances. Shrien's family and his legal team have every confidence in the South African judicial system.
“We look forward to his health improving, his name being cleared and there being an end to this legal trauma for all involved.”
Officers from the Metropolitan Police escorted Mr Dewani from Fromeside Hospital in Bristol to Bristol Airport, where he boarded a private jet.
Representatives from the South African authorities escorted him on the flight itself – and said the jet was necessary to deal with Mr Dewani's “peculiar medical condition”. A spokesperson for the department of justice said the flight was paid for by the South African government.
The department said the suspect was received by members of the South African Police Service (Saps) after landing at around 8.15am.
“He arrived in the company of a medical doctor, nurse and members of Saps (South African Police Service) and Interpol,” the statement read.
Three men in South Africa have already been jailed over the murder of Ms Dewani, who was shot on the neck as the couple travelled in a taxi.
During a press conference for members of her family, her uncle Ashok Hindocha said Mr Dewani had “questions to answer” about what happened on the day his wife died.
“Five people were in that car - four men and one woman,” he said. “Three of the men are in jail, one girl was shot in the neck. One person hasn't answered the questions about what happened in the car.”
He said the family “need justice” and were “extremely surprised” the extradition process had taken this long.
“From today and onwards this case will be about Anni. Until now it hasn't been about what really happened to her,” said Mr Hindocha.
Anish Hindocha, Ms Dewani’s brother, said: “It's been very difficult. There is no life in our family any more, we struggle. With the help of the South African people, with the help of the British people, we are at least trying to cope.
“We need justice for Anni. That's the only thing in our minds, and we will hopefully get it soon.”
Dewani's lawyers had argued that he should not be forced from the UK to face trial until he had recovered from mental health problems, including depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.
But last month judges at the High Court rejected all his grounds for appeal against removal and denied him the chance to take the case to the Supreme Court.
The South African court has previously jailed the Dewanis’ taxi driver, Zola Tongo, for 18 years after admitting his role in the killing.
Xolile Mngeni, who prosecutors claim was the hitman, was convicted of premeditated murder over the shooting, and another accomplice, Mziwamadoda Qwabe, pleaded guilty to murder and was handed a 25-year prison sentence.
A Home Office spokesman said: “We can confirm that Shrien Dewani was extradited on Monday 7 April from the UK to South Africa.”Reuse content