Dewani 'considered trial return'
Honeymoon murder accused Shrien Dewani has considered returning to South Africa to fight the case against him as his mental health improves, a court has heard.
The businessman is being treated for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression following the murder of his 28-year-old wife Anni, who was shot in the outskirts of Cape Town in November 2010.
He is accused of orchestrating the killing, which he denies, and is facing extradition to South Africa to stand trial for his wife's murder. Authorities there have offered reassurances that he will be given proper medical treatment if he is made to return.
Opening the case for the South African government at Westminster Magistrates' Court, Hugo Keith QC said Dewani's mental health had markedly improved.
The 33-year-old, who was excused from attending the hearing, is being treated for the conditions in a mental hospital near Bristol, but Mr Keith said it would not be "oppressive" to extradite him.
He said: "We suggest that there has been significant and sustained improvement (in his depression), largely as a result of the administration of drugs but also due to the grounding techniques and coping therapies which he has acquired during his time at Fromeside and more recently at Blaise View since his transfer to Blaise View in January this year."
His depression is now moderate, not severe, and in April his PTSD was found to be "considerably less" and is now moderate or severe, rather than severe.
He still has a substantial inability to concentrate and poor memory, the court heard, but he no longer makes active references to suicide.
Mr Keith added: "There are more positive observations about how he wishes to return to fight the case against him."
The South African government has offered reassurances that he will be admitted to mental hospital if he is found to be ill, and if remanded in jail will be kept in a single cell, which will reduce the chance of being attacked, the court heard. Dewani is not currently fit to plead, but Mr Keith said this should not stop the extradition process because his condition will improve.