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Dewani psychiatrists to be probed

Crime & Courts

Cape Town - The British prosecuting authority will investigate a business partnership entered into by psychiatrists on opposite sides in Shrien Dewani's extradition hearing, it was reported on Friday.

Die Burger reported that Michael Kopelman and Nigel Eastman formed the Forensic Psychiatry Chamber LLP on July 1, 2011, just days before they issued a joint statement on Dewani's health.

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FILE - This is a Thursday, Feb. 24, 2011 file photo of Shrien Dewani, the British man accused of having his wife murdered during their honeymoon in South Africa, as he arrives at Belmarsh Magistrates' Court in London. A judge said Dewani can be extradited to South Africa, where he is accused of hiring a hit man to kill his wife on their honeymoon. Judge Howard Riddle said Wednesday Aug. 10, 2011 that Shrien Dewani should face justice in South Africa. Prosecutors accuse 31-year-old Dewani of paying men to kill his 28-year-old wife, Anni. She was found shot dead in an abandoned taxi in Cape Town's deprived Gugulethu township in November. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham, File)

Kopelman was representing the South African government while Eastman was acting on behalf of 32-year-old Dewani.

In the statement, they both agreed that Dewani was suffering from serious depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.

They also agreed Dewani was at risk of committing suicide and that he could not plead because he was unable to follow proceedings or give instructions to his lawyers.

Dewani stands accused of plotting his wife Anni's murder in Cape Town in November 2010.

The British prosecution authority's July Seddon told the newspaper they had not been aware of the possible conflict of interest but would definitely investigate.

Eastman said he could not comment on anything to do with the case.

“The trial is still going on and I refuse to say anything,” he said.

The British Press Association reported that the hearing would resume on September 18, when further medical evidence on Dewani's condition would be given. - Sapa

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