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Dewani awaits extradition verdict in UK over wife's murder charge

London, Fri, 30 Mar 2012 ANI

London, Mar 30 (ANI): Indian-origin British tycoon Shrien Dewani, who has been accused of masterminding his wife Anni's murder during their honeymoon in Cape Town in 2010, will await a decision today over his High Court appeal against an order to extradite him to South Africa to face trial.

British Home Secretary Theresa May had signed an order for his extradition after District Judge Howard Riddle ruled at Belmarsh Magistrates' Court in south east London last August that Dewani should be sent to South Africa to stand trial, The Telegraph reports.

But at a High Court hearing in December, two judges heard that the health, and the life of the businessman, who has been diagnosed with severe post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and severe depression, would be at risk if he is extradited.

Sir John Thomas, president of the Queen's Bench Division, and Justice Ouseley, were urged to block the extradition order on grounds that Dewani's mental health has deteriorated to the point where he is "too ill to be extradited" and is a suicide risk.

At the December hearing Clare Montgomery Queen's Counsel for Dewani, also argued he was at serious risk of violence if kept in custody in South Africa, including sexual violence, at the hands of other prisoners.

Anni Dewani, a resident of Sweden, was shot dead when a taxi in which the couple was travelling in was car jacked in the Gugulethu township on the outskirts of Cape Town. She was later found dead in the back of the abandoned vehicle with a bullet wound to her neck.

In a statement released last night, the Dewani family said allegations against Shrien were "deeply flawed" and that he was determined to return to South Africa to clear his name and seek justice for his wife.

The correct place to demonstrate his innocence was in a court of law, the statement said, adding: "This can only be done when he is well enough and when his personal safety can be guaranteed."

"The family remain hopeful that the British High Court will block any attempt to extradite Shrien until he has fully recovered and it is safe for him to stand trial, if charged," it added. (ANI)


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