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Johannesburg - The granting of leave to appeal to honeymoon murder accused Shrien Dewani is not a final order against his extradition, the justice department said on Tuesday.
“In all, the matter will still be argued on whether he is extraditable before three judges of the high court,” spokesman Mthunzi Mhaga said in a statement.
“There is therefore no decision against the prosecution on facts, but on legal issue.”
Earlier on Tuesday, the British Press Association reported that a panel of three high court judges, headed by the Lord Chief Justice Lord Thomas, ruled that there were outstanding legal issues the court had to decide.
Thomas ruled that the case be reopened to consider two key issues: the first related to Dewani's status as “an accused person”; the second concerned whether it would be “unjust and oppressive” to extradite Dewani “regardless of the prognosis” of his mental condition.
Dewani is fighting his removal to South Africa to face trial for his wife Anni's death until he has recovered from mental health problems, said to include depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.
His lawyers have said at various hearings that he would be willing to defend himself at trial once he was fit to do so.
Mhaga said the department believed Dewani should be sent to South Africa to face charges.
“We will patiently await this legal process to unfold while vigorously arguing for his extradition,” he said.