Temporary relief for NRI honeymooner in wife murder case

Last Updated: Fri, Mar 30, 2012 18:22 hrs

London: In a temporary relief for NRI businessman Shrien Dewani, the British high court on Friday halted on mental health grounds his extradition to South Africa to face trial for the murder of his wife in a fake car-jacking during the couple's honeymoon in Cape Town in 2010.

The high-profile extradition case has been halted for now, but the Court said it was in the interests of justice that he should be extradited "as soon as he is fit" to be tried. The Dewani family welcomed the ruling.

The ruling comes amidst doubts being raised about 32-year-old Shrien's involvement in the murder following the revelation of new CCTV footage by the BBC last night.

Bristol-based Shrien denied involvement for the killing of Anni Dewani, 28.

Judges in the High Court ruled that it would be "unjust and oppressive" to order the extradition of Dewani, which is said to be suffering from severe post-traumatic stress disorder and depression.

The extradition case has been remitted back to the Westminster Magistrates Court for a further hearing.

The judges said key factors taken into account included his unfitness to plead, increased prospects of a speedier recovery if he remains in the UK and "the lack of clear certainty" as to what would happen if he was returned to South Africa in his present condition.

In a statement, Dewani's family welcomed the ruling and said: "Shrien can only return to South Africa when he is well enough and when his personal safety can be guaranteed."

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