Jan­uary dead­line for De­wani

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - NEWS -

LON­DON: Bri­tish busi­ness­man Shrien De­wani must wait un­til next year to learn the out­come of his court bat­tle against ex­tra­di­tion to SA over the mur­der of his bride, of­fi­cials said yes­ter­day.

De­wani, 31, de­nies ac­cu­sa­tions by the SA au­thor­i­ties that he ar­ranged the con­tract killing of wife Anni, 28, while the cou­ple were on their hon­ey­moon in Cape Town in Novem­ber last year.

He is ap­peal­ing against a de­ci­sion by Bri­tain’s in­te­rior min­is­ter Theresa May, who signed an or­der for his ex­tra­di­tion af­ter a judge ruled in Au­gust that De­wani should be sent to stand trial.

The High Court heard this week that De­wani was be­ing treated in a men­tal hos­pi­tal for se­vere de­pres­sion and stress and was too ill to stand trial.

Yes­ter­day, two se­nior judges hear­ing the case were due to con­sider fur­ther state­ments from med­i­cal wit­nesses, 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 would re­serve their de­ci­sion to the new year, when the hear­ing re­sumes on Jan­uary 11.

Ear­lier this week, Clare Mont­gomery, a Bri­tish lawyer ap­pear­ing for De­wani, told the court he had al­ways wished for a fair trial but there was a high risk of him com­mit­ting sui­cide and this would in­crease if he were ex­tra­dited.

Last year, De­wani and his bride’s taxi was hi­jacked.

De­wani was thrown out of the ve­hi­cle while his wife was driven off and later shot dead.

Driver Zola Tongo was jailed for 18 years af­ter turn­ing State wit­ness and plead­ing guilty to his part in the killing.

He claimed De­wani had or­dered the shoot­ing and paid him. – SAPA-AFP

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