Honeymooner wins stay of extradition to South Africa

LONDON Fri Mar 30, 2012 2:48pm BST

1 of 2. Ami Denborg, sister of murder victim Anni Dewani, makes a statement outside The Royal Courts of Justice with brother Anish Hindocha (L) and father Vinod Hindocha in London March 30, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/ Ki Price

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LONDON (Reuters) - The extradition to South Africa of a British man accused of conspiring to kill his wife in a fake car-jacking during the couple's honeymoon in Cape Town was temporarily halted by London's High Court on Friday over concerns for his mental health.

Millionaire Shrien Dewani, 31, has fought extradition proceedings, arguing that he is suffering from severe post-traumatic stress disorder and is too unwell to be sent abroad for trial.

Last August, however, a judge approved the extradition, a decision subsequently upheld by Home Secretary Theresa May.

But on Friday, High Court judge Sir John Thomas said it would be unjust and oppressive to send Dewani back to South Africa in his present condition.

He added though: "It is plainly in the interests of justice that the appellant be tried in South Africa as soon as he is fit to be tried."

Anni Dewani, 28 and from Sweden, was shot when the taxi the couple were travelling in was hijacked in the Gugulethu township on the outskirts of Cape Town last November.

She was found dead in the back of the abandoned cab with a bullet wound to her neck after cabbie Zola Tongo drove the newlyweds to the township.

Shrien Dewani claims the vehicle was carjacked and that he and Tongo were forced out of the car unharmed before Mrs Dewani was driven away and killed.

However, Tongo turned state witness and, in return for a reduced sentence, alleged that Dewani paid for his wife to be killed.

(Reporting by Stephen Addison; editing by Michael Holden)

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