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Husband of South Africa honeymoon murder victim faces extradition

The morning after the couple was carjacked, the body of 28-year-old newlywed Anni Dewani was found in the back of the vehicle.

File photo of Shrien Dewani, accused of having his wife murdered while they visited South Africa last year.
File photo of Shrien Dewani, accused of having his wife murdered while they visited South Africa last year.
Image: AP Photo/Matt Dunham, File

A UK JUDGE has ruled that a British businessman accused of organising the killing of his wife while the couple were on honeymoon in South Africa last year can be extradited to face trial, the Australian reports.

Anni Dewani, 28, was found shot dead in the couple’s car after they were hijacked  on the outskirts of Cape town in November 2010. Their driver was forced out of the vehicle by a group of attackers who then drove off with the couple.

The husband, Shrien Dewani, says he was thrown out of the vehicle about an hour later. His wife’s body was found in the back of the car when it was discovered abandoned the following morning. Dewani returned to the UK a few days later but was arrested in December at the request of South African authorities, who claim he paid for Anni to be killed.

One man, Zola Tonga, 31, has been found guilty of guilty of kidnapping, robbery, murder and the obstruction of justice in connection with Dewani’s death. Tonga, who has been sentenced to 18 years, claimed Dewani ordered his wife’s killing.

Dewani denies playing any role in the death of his wife. Speaking to the media in late November, he said:

I searched high and low for my perfect partner. Anni was the one… why would I want to kill her?

Two other men are accused of playing a part in the killing. News24 reports that South African prosecutors have welcomed the UK judge’s decision that Dewani can be extradited, saying it wants him to stand trial alongside those two men.

Dewani’s lawyers had argued that he was mentally unfit to stand trial, but the judge ruled yesterday that the court had to consider the public interest in it “honouring our extradition treaties”, the Independent reports. He also said that he has complete faith in South African authorities to provide a fair trial for Dewani.

The case has been sent to the British immigration minister, Damian Green, but he is not expected to go against the court ruling. Home Secretary Theresa May must approve the extradition before Dewani can be sent to South Africa for trial.

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