S.Africa honeymoon death suspect has 'stress': lawyers

20th January 2011, Comments 0 comments

A British businessman wanted in South Africa over allegations that he ordered the murder of his wife while on honeymoon is suffering from mental stress, a court heard Thursday.

Lawyers said a psychiatrist had diagnosed Shrien Dewani, 31, as having acute stress disorder and depressive adjustment disorder, and that Dewani was unfit to attend his extradition hearing in London on Thursday.

Judge Howard Riddle excused him from attending the hearing at Westminster Magistrates Court but said he would review whether Dewani should be at the formal opening of the extradition case on February 8.

Dewani's lawyer Julian Knowles said that due to his condition there "may be difficulties" taking instructions from his client.

Dewani's wife Anni, whose family live in Sweden, was shot and killed during a reported carjacking on the outskirts of Cape Town.

Zola Tongo, the driver of the taxi in which the young bride was travelling, said he was paid 1,500 rand (220 dollars, 170 euros) for his role in the murder.

He was sentenced to 18 years in jail after he turned state's witness and implicated the victim's husband in plotting to kill her.

Ben Watson, for the South African authorities, told the London court that they believe Dewani conspired with others to make it "appear as if they had both been the victims of a random highjacking".

Dewani returned to Britain with his wife's body days after the killing and was later arrested after walking into a police station in Bristol in southwest England.

He was released on bail pending an extradition hearing and denies any involvement in his wife's death.

© 2011 AFP

0 Comments To This Article