Sunday 17 December 2017

Honeymoon murder suspect Shrien Dewani set for extradition to South Africa

Shrien Dewani is accused of ordering the murder of his wife Anni in South Africa in 2010 (BBC Panorama/PA)
Shrien Dewani is accused of ordering the murder of his wife Anni in South Africa in 2010 (BBC Panorama/PA)
A CCTV still of Monde Mbolombo on the phone to Mziwamadoda Qwabe (BBC Panorama/PA)
A judge branded Xolile Mngeni, who shot Mrs Dewani, 'a merciless and evil person'
Xolile Mngen sits in the dock of a courtroom in Cape Town, South Africa (AP/Schalk van Zuydam)
South African Xolile Mngeni appears in court accused of taking part in the shooting of Anni Dewani in Cape Town (AP)

Margaret Davis

Honeymoon murder suspect Shrien Dewani is due to be flown out of the UK this week at the end of his long-fought legal battle against extradition.

The 34-year-old will reportedly fly from London Heathrow Airport tomorrow night, arriving in Cape Town the following morning and being whisked straight to a court hearing.

Millionaire businessman Dewani is accused of ordering the murder of his 28-year-old wife Anni in November 2010, who was shot as the couple travelled in a taxi through the Gugulethu township while they were on honeymoon.

Dewani's lawyers had argued that he should not be forced from the UK to face trial until he had recovered from mental health problems including depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.

But in March judges at the High Court rejected all his grounds for appeal against removal and denied him the chance to take the case to the Supreme Court.

The care home owner is expected to appear at Western Cape High Court in Cape Town for a brief hearing on Tuesday morning, and his mental health will then be assessed by a doctor.

It is expected that he will be treated at the Valkenberg hospital while awaiting trial, and South African media have reported that security at the facility, where a number of notorious criminals are held, has been beefed up in anticipation of his arrival.

Anni's family welcomed the decision to send Dewani back to South Africa, saying that the prolonged legal proceedings had been "torture".

After the March High Court ruling, Anni's father Vinod Hindocha said: ''We are quite happy with the decision and we hope to get the answers that we have been seeking for the past three and a half years.

''I really don't know what happened to my daughter. We need answers. We hope to get justice.''

Three men have already been convicted and jailed over Anni Dewani's death, including taxi driver Zola Tongo, who was given 18 years after admitting his role in the killing.

Dewani has always denied the charges, and earlier this year BBC Panorama suggested that Anni could have been shot by mistake in a struggle, and that there were significant contradictions in the account given by Tongo.

It also claimed that a soundtrack obtained from CCTV showed that hotel receptionist Monde Mbolombo, who has been granted immunity from prosecution, could have played a key role in what happened.

Mbolombo claimed that he had put Tongo in touch with the gunmen, but had no further involvement, however questions have been raised over comments he was recorded making.

The Mail on Sunday revealed that in an audio track taken from CCTV, he says: ''This is how it's going to happen. Listen, don't give them it all up front. Give them what you've got on you so they don't come crying to you.''

Xolile Mngeni, who prosecutors claim was the hitman, was convicted of premeditated murder for the shooting, and another accomplice, Mziwamadoda Qwabe, also pleaded guilty to murder and was handed a 25-year prison sentence.

Press Association

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