Dewani extradition date confirmed

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shrien dewani mar 24 AP Honeymoon murder-accused Shrien Dewani is expected in the country on April 8 to face charges related to the killing of his wife Anni. File photo: AP

London - British businessman Shrien Dewani will arrive in Cape Town next week to stand trial on charges that he arranged the murder of his 28-year-old Swedish bride, it was announced on Friday.

“After a successful extradition process, Mr Dewani is expected to arrive in the country on Tuesday 8 April,” South Africa's justice ministry said.

“(He) will immediately be escorted to the Western Cape High Court where he is expected to make his first appearance in a South African court.”

Dewani, 33, is accused of ordering the killing of Anni Dewani while they were on honeymoon in Cape Town in November 2010.

He claimed they were kidnapped at gun point as they drove through the Gugulethu township near Cape Town in a taxi.

Dewani was released unharmed. Anni's body was found in the abandoned car the next day. She had been shot dead.

Dewani denies any involvement in her murder, claiming it happened after their taxi was hijacked.

Taxi driver Zola Tongo admitted guilt in a plea bargain along with another man, Mziwamadoda Qwabe. The two were sentenced to 18 and 25 years in prison respectively.

A third man, Xolile Mngeni, was later found guilty of firing the shot that killed Anni, and sentenced to life imprisonment in November 2012.

Tongo claimed Dewani had offered him R15 000 ($1 400, 1 000 euros) to have Anni killed.

Dewani fought a protracted legal battle to avoid being extradited from Britain to South Africa, claiming he had mental health problems, including depression and post-traumatic stress.

The High Court in London ruled in January that he could be extradited provided South African authorities returned him to Britain if his mental health deteriorated.

According to the Johannesburg-based The Times newspaper, he will be escorted to the country on a British Airways flight by a nurse, a South African doctor and two members of the country's elite Hawks crime fighting unit.

After his appearance he is expected to be taken to the high security Valkenberg psychiatric hospital in Cape Town where he will stay for the duration of the trial.

AFP



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