Dewani facing extradition delay
Published 16/12/2011 | 11:52
British businessman Shrien Dewani will have to wait until the new year to learn whether he has won or lost his High Court battle against extradition to South Africa where he faces allegations of masterminding the murder of his bride on their honeymoon.
Care home owner Dewani, from Westbury-on-Trym, Bristol, is accused of arranging the contract killing of wife Anni, 28, in Cape Town in November last year.
The 31-year-old denies any wrongdoing.
Home Secretary Theresa May signed an order for his extradition after District Judge Howard Riddle ruled at Belmarsh Magistrates' Court in south east London in August that Dewani should be sent to stand trial.
Clare Montgomery QC, appearing for Dewani, told two High Court judges he had always wished for a fair trial but there is a high risk of him committing suicide, which would be made worse by extradition.
The judges hearing the case - Sir John Thomas, president of the Queen's Bench Division, and Mr Justice Ouseley - were due to consider further statements from medical witnesses, who were also to be cross-examined in open court.
But the hearing was called off. A spokeswoman for the Judicial Office said all sides had now agreed there was no need for further cross-examination and the judges were now reserving their decision to the new year.
The spokeswoman said: "The court will now consider the papers and arguments. Judgment will be delivered in the course of the next legal term, which begins on January 11 2012."
Mrs Dewani, from Sweden, was shot when a taxi the couple were travelling in was hijacked in the Gugulethu township on the outskirts of Cape Town. She was found dead in the back of the abandoned vehicle with a bullet wound to her neck after taxi driver Zola Tongo drove the newlyweds to the impoverished area.
He and Mr Dewani were ejected by the hijackers before Mrs Dewani was driven away and shot. Tongo, who has admitted his part in the crime, claimed in a plea agreement with prosecutors that Dewani ordered the carjacking and paid for a hit on his wife.