S.African prosecutors welcomes Dewani extradition ruling
South Africa's prosecutors on Wednesday welcomed a London court ruling that Briton Shrien Dewani can be extradited to face murder charges but cautioned it was not the final verdict.
"We welcome the decision by the judge after considering all the evidence and the legal arguments," regional National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesman Eric Eric Ntabazalila told AFP.
"But we need to emphasis that this is is the beginning of a new process, it's not the final decision."
South African authorities are fighting for Dewani to go on trial with two local men for the murder of his Swedish-born wife Anni in Cape Town while on honeymoon last November which they believe the 31-year-old masterminded.
District Judge Howard Riddle ruled that the Briton can be sent to South Africa to face charges of murder but referred the case to the interior minister for a final decision.
"Our intention is for him to face the charges that are put to him of murder and for him and Mziwamadoda Qwabe and Xolile Mngeni to be in the dock together," said Ntabazalila.
"If it was up to us, if the decision can be taken tomorrow for him to come back to South Africa, then we will put all three of them in the dock on the 20th (of September) but unfortunately that process is out of our hands on how long it will take."
Dewani could also appeal the court's decision, said Ntabazalila who praised "an excellent job" by crown prosecutors for convincing the court that Dewani should come to South Africa to answer allegations against him.
A South African court last week postponed the case to September 20 against two local men after medical reports were submitted on the alleged hitman, Mngeni who had surgery on a malignant brain tumour in June.
The newlyweds were hijacked on November 13 when Dewani was thrown out of the vehicle while his wife was driven off and shot dead.
Driver Zola Tongo was jailed for 18 years after turning state witness and pleaded guilty to his part in the killing. But he claimed Dewani had ordered the killing and paid him. Dewani denies any wrongdoing.
© 2011 AFP