Dewani excused from extradition hearing

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Pretoria - Honeymoon murder accused, Shrien Dewani, was excused from attending his extradition hearing on Monday because of his poor health.

Dewani, a British national who is accused of arranging the murder of his wife Anni while they were on honeymoon in South Africa, appeared in the Woolwich Crown Court in London at the start of his extradition hearing.

According to reports, District Judge Howard Riddle accepted the argument by Dewani's legal team that his health was fragile and agreed that under the circumstances, Dewani should be excused from court while the hearing continues.

Dewani is apparently suffering from severe post-traumatic stress disorder.

South African authorities are requesting that he be brought back to South Africa to stand trial on charges related to Anni's murder.

Dewani claimed the couple was hijacked while driving through Khayelitsha and that he was forced out of the vehicle.

Anni's body was found in the abandoned vehicle the next day. She had been shot.

Dewani returned to the UK shortly after his wife's death and was arrested thereafter.

Zola Tongo, the man who chauffeured the couple, claimed in court that Dewani gave him R15 000 as payment to kill Anni.

Tongo was sentenced to an effective 18 years imprisonment for his role in the crime.