Bail hearing told of CCTV footage
SAPA-AFP yesterday reported that lawyers for South African authorities had argued that there were substantial grounds for suspecting Shrien Dewani would not surrender for an extradition hearing later this month were he allowed bail.
Ben Watson, for the South African authorities, told British Judge Duncan Ouseley yesterday that there was significant new evidence – including closed-circuit footage showing Dewani allegedly obtaining black market money to fund the murder – indicating there was a powerful case against him.
But Judge Ouseley disagreed. He said: “I have concluded that he has a continuing and realistic interest in making sure that he clears his name.
“He has no criminal convictions, is professionally qualified and his family is of high standing in the local community in Bristol, with no obvious interest in helping him to abscond.”
Because of the “tragic and terrible murder of his wife”, his face was well known and it would be difficult for him to depart the UK or “go underground”.
Dewani strongly denies any involvement in the murder and told the earlier court hearing in London that he did not agree to being extradited to face trial in South Africa.
Dewani’s lawyer, Clare Montgomery QC, argued that the accusations against Dewani were “improbable”, and his family had dismissed them as “totally ludicrous”.
In South Africa yesterday, National Prosecuting Authority spokesman Mthunzi Mhaga said: “We are now busy preparing the paper work for the extradition and an application will be submitted to the Department of Justice.
“We... will ensure that there is no delay.”
Justice Minister Jeff Radebe said suggestions that Dewani would not get a fair trial in South Africa were without the “slightest foundation”.