Shrien Dewani : Can be extradited to South Africa rules Judge

Shrien Dewani can be extradited to South Africa to stand trial over the murder of his wife while on honeymoon, District Judge Howard Riddle said today.

The Bristol businessman, 31, is accused of ordering the car-jacking and shooting which left Anni Dewani, 28, dead in a taxi in Cape Town last November.

Dewani denies any involvement and has fought extradition proceedings, arguing that he is suffering from severe post-traumatic stress disorder and is too unwell to be extradited.

The judge said the “court must consider the strong public interest in honouring our extradition treaty”.

He said he had “no doubt” that Dewani is suffering from severe post-traumatic stress disorder and depression and is at high risk of suicide or self-harm.

But he said he was satisfied he would receive the appropriate levels of mental health care at the hands of the South African authorities.

He took more than two hours to read out his judgment at Belmarsh Magistrates’ Court in south east London, beginning with evidence relating to the serious problems with overcrowding, violence and sexual violence in South African jails.

He said Dewani, whom he described as “good-looking, youthful and physically well-preserved”, would be particularly vulnerable to sexual abuse, adding: “There has been some suggestion that he may be gay.”

But although many prisons are ill-equipped to deal with the mentally ill and inmates are at high risk of contracting HIV or Aids, the judge said he was satisfied that Dewani would be held in a prison with a good level of facilities and be kept in a single cell.

Anni’s parents, Vinod and Nilam Hindocha, were in court to witness proceedings, surrounded by their family and friends.

Speaking outside after the hearing, her father Vinod said today’s decision was “one step to closure”.

He said: “I would like to thank the British justice system for the decision, which I believe is a fair one.”

He said it was not about Dewani, but “it’s about my beautiful daughter Anni, not forgetting her.

“I’m sure she’d be very, very happy today to hear the decision.

“I wish Shrien a very speedy recovery so he can now put his head down and help the police and clear his name.”

Anni’s sister, Ami Denborg, added: “Nothing will bring back my beautiful little innocent sister who was killed.

“But getting this decision today at least we will get somewhere.”

Describing the past few months, she added: “It’s been a nightmare. Today we feel very happy about the decision.”