A court on Wednesday ordered the extradition of Shrien Dewani to South Africa to stand trial over the death of his wife Anni, killed on the outskirts of Cape Town while on honeymoon with him in November 2010.
Mr. Dewani (33), a businessman from Bristol, is accused of plotting to murder his newly-married wife with the help of a hired gunman.
He has been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and depression and is receiving treatment but the court rejected his lawyers’ plea that his mental condition did not permit him to travel and stand trial.
Chief Magistrate Howard Riddle, sitting at Westminster Magistrates’ Court, ruled that despite slow progress he was on course to recovery.
“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,” he said.
Mr. Dewani’s family plans to appeal. “Shrien Dewani remains unfit to be extradited or to face trial. Shrien remains committed to returning to South Africa when his health would permit a full trial and when appropriate protections are in place for his health and safety. The legal process is ongoing so it would be inappropriate to comment further,” said a spokesman.
Anni Dewani’s sister welcomed the ruling but said the battle had “just begun”.
“For us it is all about Anni, it’s all about finding out what happened. We will fight this battle to the end and this battle has just begun,” said Ami Denborg.
Anni (31) was travelling in a taxi with her husband when the couple were kidnapped at gunpoint. While Mr. Dewani was released unharmed, the body of his wife was found on the back seat of the taxi with injuries to her head and chest.
A South African man Xolile Mngeni has been convicted of premeditated murder. It is alleged that he was hired by Mr. Dewani to kill his wife — a charge he denies.