Minister is Dewani's last hope as judge backs extradition

His defence team said he was mentally unfit to stand trial and would face violent sexual assault in prison

Shrien Dewani's fight to evade facing justice in South Africa appeared doomed yesterday as a judge recommended that he be extradited to stand trial for murdering his bride.

Despite assertions by his defence team that he was mentally unfit to stand trial and would face violent sexual assault and the risk of HIV infection in prison, Senior District Judge Howard Riddle said he had full confidence in the South African system and sent the case to Damian Green, the immigration minister, for a decision.

Mr Green will have two months to hear further arguments from the defence before making a decision though he is unlikely to go against the judge's recommendation without specific extenuating circumstances.

Anni Dewani's family appeared overjoyed as they left Belmarsh Magistrates' Court in Woolwich, south-east London. Her sister Ami Denborg, 31, said: "Nothing will bring Anni back, my beautiful, innocent little sister... She will not rest in peace until this is over. It has been a nightmare. Today we feel very happy about this decision and we feel it is a step in the right direction."

Ending his two-hour judgment, Judge Riddle said: "Against the argument put forward on his behalf the court must consider the strong public interest in honouring our extradition treaties."

Praising the victim's family for their "quiet dignity", he continued: "The court should not overlook their right to have the factual position determined as soon as is reasonable... Either Mr Dewani arranged for his new bride to be brutally murdered, or he has been the victim himself of the most terrible tragedy. I have complete confidence in the South African judicial system to provide a fair trial."

Passively staring ahead in the dock, Mr Dewani betrayed no emotion. The bearded 31-year-old bore little resemblance to the joyful groom seen in wedding pictures after Anni, 28, was murdered on their honeymoon in Cape Town. The couple, from Westbury-on-Trym, Bristol, had been married just two weeks when they were held at gunpoint on the night of 13 November after taking a taxi through the township of Gugulethu to see some of "the real Africa".

The driver, Zola Tongo, and the groom were forced from the car unharmed. Mrs Dewani's body was discovered the next day in the abandoned car in another township on the outskirts of Cape Town. The Swedish-born engineer had a single bullet wound to the neck.

Mr Dewani has consistently denied hiring the killers, but the South African authorities want him extradited to stand trial for murder, kidnapping, robbery with aggravating circumstances, conspiracy to commit murder and obstructing the administration of justice. His legal team said last night they would be considering whether to appeal.

News
peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
Sport
Lewis Hamilton will start the Singapore Grand Prix from pole, with Nico Rosberg second and Daniel Ricciardo third
F1... for floodlit Singapore Grand Prix
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvHe is only remaining member of original cast
Arts and Entertainment
tvHighs and lows of the cast's careers since 2004
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Sport
Fans hold up a scarf at West Ham vs Liverpool
footballAfter Arsenal's clear victory, focus turns to West Ham vs Liverpool
New Articles
i100... she's just started school
News
news
New Articles
i100
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
life
Arts and Entertainment
musicBiographer Hunter Davies has collected nearly a hundred original manuscripts
Sport
football
New Articles
i100... despite rising prices
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Cover Supervisor

£75 - £90 per day + negotiable: Randstad Education Group: Are you a cover supe...

Marketing Manager - Leicestershire - £35,000

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager (CIM, B2B, MS Offi...

Marketing Executive (B2B and B2C) - Rugby, Warwickshire

£22000 - £25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A highly successful organisation wit...

SEN Coordinator + Teacher (SENCO)

£1 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Job Purpose To work closely with the he...

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam