Honeymoon murder suspect misses court citing acute stress

Last Updated: Thursday, January 20, 2011 - 21:43

London: The extradition hearing of NRI
businessman Shrien Dewani, accused of ordering the murder of
his Indo-Swedish wife on their honeymoon in South Africa, was
adjourned till February 8 as he failed to appear before a
court here, citing acute stress.

31-year-old Dewani, accused of hiring a hitman to kill
his wife Anni, 28, was diagnosed by a psychiatrist with an
acute stress disorder and a depressive adjustment disorder,
Westminster Magistrates` Court in London heard today.
He did not attend the hearing, which was adjourned to
February 8 at Belmarsh Magistrates` Court.

Ben Watson, for the South African authorities, told
the hearing that following a psychiatric report, Dewani was
judged unfit to attend court and was therefore excused by the
judge.

Chief Magistrate Howard Riddle said he will review
whether Dewani should attend on February 8 when the
extradition case against him will be formally opened.
The judge extended Dewani`s bail.

The court heard he is facing charges of conspiracy to
murder, murder, kidnapping, robbery with aggravated
circumstances and obstruction of the administration of
justice.

The South African authorities are seeking to have
Dewani, from Westbury-on-Trym in Bristol, taken back to the
country to stand trial.

Anni was shot when the taxi the couple was travelling
in was hijacked in the Gugulethu township on the outskirts of
Cape Town on November 13.

She was found dead in the back of an abandoned cab
with a bullet wound to her neck after cabbie Zola Tongo drove
the newly-weds to the township.

His vehicle was hijacked and he and Dewani were
ejected before Anni was driven away and killed.

Watson said the South African authorities believe
Dewani conspired with others to make it "appear as if they had
both been the victims of a random hijacking.

PTI



First Published: Thursday, January 20, 2011 - 21:43

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