Shrien Dewani has run out of options to try and halt his extradition. The Bristol businessman accused of killing his wife on their honeymoon in South Africa, now almost three years ago, has lost his latest legal appeal to remain in the UK. Dewani, 33, now faces a 28-day deadline for extradition to South Africa.
Dewani, who has always denied any involvement in his wife’s death, has been receiving treatment for depression and post-traumatic stress disorder since returning to the UK.
Chief magistrate Howard Riddle ruled recently that Dewani should be extradited even though he may not be fit to face trial immediately. “It is not impossible that if returned now, then after a reasonable period of further treatment and assessment he will be found fit to plead and a trial can take place,” Riddle said.
Dewani’s defence team had argued that the businessman could suffer “setbacks” if he were sent to South Africa. They said he would be a high suicide risk if he returned and his human rights could be violated because of the risk of “violent and sexual assaults in jail, and of contracting HIV”. He and his family fear that he will not get a fair trial in Cape Town.
Hugo Keith argued that Dewani was “no longer making active references to the possibility of self-harm or suicide” and insisted South Africa had pulled out the stops to offer him the necessary care if its request was granted.
Psychiatrist Dr Alan Cumming giving evidence for the South African government, insisted his health could be managed as well in South Africa as in the UK. Cumming backed the idea that extradition could help Dewani. “Sometimes longer you leave things, worse they get,” he summarised.
Anni’s family are hopeful Shrien will be extradited – not because they are convinced of his guilt but because they want to see justice done. “There are many questions and too few answers,” said Anni’s sister, Ami.
“I don’t know what to believe sometimes. I just want the truth to come out and the end of this story so I can move on with my life.”
Dewani, has been suffering depression and post-traumatic stress disorder following the killing of his Swedish-born wife in November 2010.
Shrien Dewani remains sectioned under the Mental Health Act.
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