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Husband of slain Swedish bride out on bail

A British businessman wanted in South Africa over the murder of his Swedish bride on their honeymoon was granted bail at the High Court in London on Friday.

Husband of slain Swedish bride out on bail

South Africa wants to extradite 30-year-old Shrien Dewani on suspicion of paying to have his wife Anni, a native of Mariestad in central Sweden, killed in a carjacking during their honeymoon in Cape Town.

Lawyers for the South African authorities had argued that there were substantial grounds for suspecting Dewani would not surrender for an extradition hearing later this month were he allowed bail.

But High Court judge Duncan Ouseley disagreed and allowed his application.

Dewani strongly denies any involvement in the murder and told the earlier court hearing in London that he did not agree to the extradition.

He had been held at Wandsworth Prison in south London since appearing Wednesday at City of Westminster Magistrates Court on an extradition warrant.

The care home owner had handed himself in to a police station in Bristol, southwest England, on Tuesday.

His release from custody was stringent bail conditions, including the payment of a £250,000 ($400,000) cash surety.

His 28-year-old wife was killed on November 13th after the couple’s taxi was reportedly hijacked outside Cape Town.

In a South African court on Tuesday, taxi driver Zola Tongo said he was offered 15,000 rand ($2,175) by Dewani to kill his wife.

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CRIME

Swedish Green leader: ‘Easter riots nothing to do with religion or ethnicity’

The riots that rocked Swedish cities over the Easter holidays were nothing to do with religion or ethnicity, but instead come down to class, the joint leader of Sweden's Green Party has told The Local in an interview.

Swedish Green leader: 'Easter riots nothing to do with religion or ethnicity'

Ahead of a visit to the school in Rosengård that was damaged in the rioting, Märta Stenevi said that neither the Danish extremist Rasmus Paludan, who provoked the riots by burning copies of the Koran, nor those who rioted, injuring 104 policemen, were ultimately motivated by religion. 

“His demonstration had nothing to do with religion or with Islam. It has everything to do with being a right extremist and trying to to raise a lot of conflict between groups in Sweden,” she said of Paludan’s protests. 

“On the other side, the police have now stated that there were a lot of connections to organised crime and gangs, who see this as an opportunity to raise hell within their communities.”

Riots broke out in the Swedish cities of Malmö, Stockholm, Norrköping, Linköping and Landskrona over the Easter holidays as a result of Paludan’s tour of the cities, which saw him burn multiple copies of the Koran, the holy book of Islam. 

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More than 100 police officers were injured in the riots, sparking debates about hate-crime legislation and about law and order. 

According to Stenevi, the real cause of the disorder is the way inequality has increased in Sweden in recent decades. 

“If you have big chasms between the rich people and poor people in a country, you will also have a social upheaval and social disturbance. This is well-documented all across the world,” she says. 
 
“What we have done for the past three decades in Sweden is to create a wider and wider gap between those who have a lot and those who have nothing.” 

 
The worst way of reacting to the riots, she argues, is that of Sweden’s right-wing parties. 
 
“You cannot do it by punishment, by adding to the sense of outsider status, you have to start working on actually including people, and that happens through old-fashioned things such as education, and a proper minimum income, to lift people out of their poverty, not to keep them there.”

This, she says, is “ridiculous”, when the long-term solution lies in doing what Sweden did to end extreme inequality at the start of the 20th century, when it created the socialist folkhem, or “people’s home”. 

“It’s easy to forget that 100 to 150 years ago, Sweden was a developing country, with a huge class of poor people with no education whatsoever. And we did this huge lift of a whole nation. And we can do this again,” she says. “But it needs resources, it needs political will.” 
 
 
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