Shrien Dewani

Breaking News

15 December 2011

Shrien Dewani is appealing against an order for his extradition to stand trial over the death of his wife Anni in Cape Town.

Clare Montgomery QC, for Mr Dewani, told the court this week that her client was "too ill to be extradited", and would be at a high risk of suicide if he were sent to South Africa.

She said her client had always wished for a fair trial.

"However that is, at the moment, on the advice we have been given by those who are treating him, not possible," she said.

Ms Montgomery asked the High Court to discharge the extradition order, or adjourn its implementation. She argued that District Judge Riddle, who ruled that Mr Dewani could be extradited, had fallen into error when he accepted assurances from the South African authorities that her client's life and health would not be endangered.

Written statements from Mr Dewani's legal team said he could not be treated with anti-depressant medication because he suffers from a life-threatening drug reaction.

The South African government is opposing the appeal.

Hugo Keith QC, for the South African government, told the court that Mr Dewani would recover to be fit enough to face trial.  The hearing was told that the doctor treating Mr Dewani at Fromeside Clinic in Bristol was convinced that he would be able to recover.   Mr Keith said the risk of Mr Dewani committing suicide fell well below the threshold that would block his extradition.

 

Background

The UK secretary of state has signed an extradition order for Shrien Dewani to be tried in South Africa for the murder of his wife Anni, the NPA said on 28 Sep 2011.

“Dewani will have 14 days to give notice of appeal, if he decides to do so,” National Prosecuting Authority spokesman Mthunzi Mhaga said.

The British Home Office would send a copy of the extradition order to the High Commission for transmission to South Africa.

A London judge ruled on August 10, 2011 that Dewani could be extradited to South Africa.

He is accused of arranging the murder of his wife when they were on honeymoon in Cape Town last November. He claimed they had been hijacked.

On his return to the UK, he was admitted to a facility for treatment for post traumatic stress. His defence had said he was too ill to travel.

Background

Shrien Dewani was born in Bristol,. Educated at Bristol Grammar School and the University of Manchester, he qualified as a chartered accountant with Deloitte, working in the City of London. In 2005 he resigned his position, to help found and run his families chain of PSP Healthcare old peoples homes

In 2009 he met Anni Hindocha, a Swedish-born ethnic Indian Hindu woman, whose family fled from Uganda. In June 2010, he proposed with a £25,000 diamond engagement ring balanced on a red rose. The couple married at the Lake Powai resort outside Mumbai, India, on 29 October. 200 guests attended the traditional three day Hindu marriage event. They then went to South Africa for their honeymoon and thats when things started to go wrong.

After visiting the Kruger National Park, they flew to Cape Town. They were then driven by Zola Tongo to the five-star Cape Grace hotel. Shrien then commented to the South African Police Service and to the press, that his wife had wanted to see the real Africa. They decided to traveled to Mzoli's BBQ restaurant, as recommended by chef Jamie Oliver in his magazine that year. Located in the Gugulethu township, the couple arranged to be driven there again by Zola Tongo in his VW Sharan taxi. But while undertaking "slum tourism", Shrien stated that the taxi had been hijacked by two armed men, who removed Tongo. Now held at gunpoint, the couple were driven around the township, being told by the kidnappers: "We are not going to hurt you. We just want the car." After 20 minutes, at a distance of 11 miles (18 km) from the original hijacking, after being threatened at gunpoint Shrien was thrown out of the back window of the moving taxi. After Shrien flagged down a passing car and contacted the police, a police helicopter spotted the Sharan taxi abandoned 2 miles (3.2 km) away in the township of Khayelitsha. At 07:50 on the morning of 14 November, Anni Dewani was found dead inside the back of the VW Sharan in Lingelethu West. Severely beaten and brusied, she had suffered a single gunshot wound to her neck. Shrien Dewani was arrested when he returned to England with a suspicion of conspiring to murder his wife after Zola Tongo  admitted plotting to kill Anni and said that Dewani asked him to design the incident for a fee of R16000. South Africa then asked  Britain to extradite Dewani to be tried in Cape Town. This week District Judge Howard Riddle  ruled that Shrien Dewani can be extradited to South Africa to face trial for organising the murder of his wife Anni on their honeymoon last year,  He rejected arguments that the Bristol businessman was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and was too unwell to be extradited, and that South African prison conditions would violate his human rights.

Dewani continues to insist that he had nothing to do with his wife's murder and his family maintains the marriage was a happy one. Shrien Dewani has hired a team of top legal experts to represent him in South Africa. Top legal firm Edward Nathan Sonnenbergs are set to represent Dewani if he goes on trial. He is due to stand trial in Cape Town should the UK government approve the court ruling. Should he be extradited,  Dewani will undergo a psychiatric evaluation and will be held in custody at Goodwood Prison near Cape Town

 

 

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