Family members of the murdered bride Anni Dewani are desperate to get the truth behind her mystery death on her honeymoon in 2010. However their agonizing wait has been prolonged as the high court in London have temporarily halted Shrein Dewani’s extradition back to South Africa on mental health grounds.
The two judges ruled that the extradition would be “unjust” and “oppressive” to remove the British businessman, who is accused of arranging the contract killing of his wife Anni in Cape Town in November 2010 during the couples honeymoon.
Dewani, a millionaire care home worker from Bristol denies any wrong doing. He has been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and his lawyers argue that it may impact on his health if he is extradited. His family welcomed the verdict commenting that “Shrien can only return to South Africa when he is well enough and when his personal safety can be guaranteed”.
The key factors the judges are said to have taken into account include his unfitness to plead and the chances of a speedier recovery if he remains in the UK. The risk of suicide was also considered but to a much lesser degree.
Mrs Anni Dewani, 28 from Sweden was shot when a taxi the couple were travelling in was hijacked in the Gugulethu township on the outskirts of Cape Town, where taxi driver Zola Tongo and Mr Dewani were ejected from the vehicle. Mrs Dewani was later found dead in the back of the abandoned vehicle with a bullet wound to her neck. Tongo, has admitted his part in the crime, and in a please agreement with prosecutors that Dewani had organized the carjacking and paid for a hit on his wife.
During a High Court hearing in December Sir John Thomas, president of the Queen’s Bench Division, and Mr Justice Ouesely were urged to block the extradition order on the grounds that the Bristol care home worker’s mental health had deteriorated. The illness began to surface shortly after the murder of his wife and before he was accused of her murder.
In a statement released yesterday the Dewani family commented that the allegations against Shrein were “deeply flawed” and that he was determined to return to South Africa to stand trial where he could clear his name and seek justice for his wife. The families lawyer Charlotte Harris said in an official statement that “Shrein is innocent” further going on to say that she has every commitment to clear his name of all false allegations.