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Slain Swede's husband 'too ill' for court

AFP/The Local · 19 Jul 2011, 07:52

Published: 19 Jul 2011 07:52 GMT+02:00

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Shrien Dewani, 31, was suffering post-traumatic stress disorder and was "simply unfit to stand trial", his lawyer Claire Montgomery told Woolwich Crown Court in southeast London.

She added that it would be "positively inhuman" to keep him in the court.

South African authorities want Dewani, from Bristol, southwest England, to be sent back to the country so he can be put on trial for the murder of his Swedish-born wife Anni, 28, in Cape Town last November.

District Judge Howard Riddle said he allowed Dewani to leave court with "some considerable hesitation".

The 10-minute hearing, attended by the dead woman's parents, was adjourned until Tuesday.

Dewani's extradition proceedings began in May but were adjourned while a psychiatric report was compiled. He has been granted bail but is staying in a

secure mental hospital in Bristol for his own safety.

The newlyweds were being driven through the dangerous township of Gugulethu

when their taxi was hijacked on November 13. Dewani was thrown out of the vehicle while his wife was driven off and shot dead.

Story continues below…

He apparently told a witness that he "needed a way out" of his marriage to Anni.

Taxi driver Zola Tongo was sentenced to 18 years in prison after admitting his part in the crime, but claimed Dewani ordered the car-jacking and paid for a hit on his wife.

Dewani denies any wrongdoing.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

08:49 July 19, 2011 by calebian22
I bet the wife would like to have post traumatic stress syndrome. Kind of tough to develop that after being murdered though. Friggin lawyers.
09:25 July 19, 2011 by Ranjit T Edward
"She added that it would be "positively inhuman" to keep him in the court."

On the contrary, it seems perfectly alright to allow the parents and the loved ones of the girl go through this ordeal.

This brat stinks of everything he must not. He must be sent back to SA to face the consequence of his action. And if he is cleared, then good on him. If not, he must rot away in the most inhuman condition that SA prisons can offer.
09:35 July 19, 2011 by Pont-y-garreg
Firstly, the word is SLAIN, without an "E" at the end.

Slay, slew, slain.


Why do you insist on using the word "slaine"?

Apart from the fact that you can't spell it correctly, it's an outmoded word from nearer 1911 than 2011 and totally antiquated.

The word is "murdered", surely, as the article points out that the woman was indeed murdered.
10:22 July 19, 2011 by zooeden
Taxi driver Zola Tongo was sentenced to 18 years in prison!!!!

I want to see Shrien Dewani have a much harder sentence than the cab driver, I want to see him hanged with his whole family who arrange the marriage;

And Hang them all who arrange marriages!!!
12:55 July 19, 2011 by Celestine
Interestingly, Clare Montgomery, the barrister pleading so compassionately on behalf of Shrien Dewani, is also representing the Swedish prosecutor in the attempt to have Julian Assange extradited to Sweden.
13:18 July 19, 2011 by Swedesmith
If he was too dead to stand trial, perhaps I would understand.
19:41 July 19, 2011 by Englishted

Thank you for the English lesson.

I take it you would like Shakespeare's plays stopped as they are so antiquated, and outmoded so very very 17th Century old boy.
20:45 July 19, 2011 by axiom
this is a rather intriguing case, i usually try not to comment on someone's innocence without a trial, but this details around this sounds all so fishy ...

and boy she was beautiful, if he did this I am inclined to believe the story about his mental state. Such a beautiful girl!!!
01:13 July 20, 2011 by cutthecrap
Yep, pulling every devious stroke in the book to avoid a showing.
02:38 July 20, 2011 by GLO
Bull Sh#t! Do it via video.
07:16 July 20, 2011 by RobinHood
Dewani has not avoided a trial. He has been excused the necessity to attend extradition proceedings in London, (not a trial) because neutral doctors say he is mentally ill and his illness will be made worse by his attendance. The proceedings will continue without him. This is perfectly normal procedure in civilised countries, and not at all controversial. The alternative - wheeling a drugged-up sleeping man, or a raving lunatic, before a court, is repugnant to civilised justice.

If some of the above posters have evidence that Dewani is not in fact mentally ill and is fit to attend, and that the doctors are wrong, they should inform the prosecution that there has been a mistake. If not, they should respect the opinion of the medical experts.

Trolls please note, not one word of this post debates Dewani's guilt or innocense.
11:20 July 21, 2011 by KungsholmenGuy
Robinhood, what many readers will find 'repungnant' is the claim by his lawyer that it is 'positively inhuman' to have him sit in a quiet courtroom, when contrasted with what he may have inflicted upon his wife in a premeditated act of incomparable evil.

I am reminded of OJ getting teary eyed when saying that the trial had kept him away from his children, when Nicole would never see her children again. The tears may in fact have been authentic, but this does not excuse his crime. A reasonable person would never kill another person (except in self defense or war), so in that sense all premedidated murder cases could be trivially dismissed as acts of insanity.

Agree that there is no need to have him appear at the extradition hearing, and that we should not judge his guilt or innocence until all the facts are laid out. If Dewani is in fact guilty, then as far as I'm concerned let his mental illness part of the punishment he deserves for his act. If the facts establish that he is innocent, then grant him access to all the medical services he is entitled to in order to assist him with his recovery.
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