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CRIME

Murder suspect Dewani due in Cape Town court

Extradited British millionaire businessman Shrien Dewani is due in court in South Africa Monday on charges of ordering his Swedish wife's murder during their 2010 honeymoon in Cape Town.

Murder suspect Dewani due in Cape Town court

After losing a three-year extradition fight in Britain, Dewani, 34, was remanded in custody at a psychiatric hospital when he arrived in South Africa on Wednesday.

He will appear at the Western Cape high court for a pre-trial hearing, at which the judge will assess the readiness of the prosecution and defence teams to start the trial.

Dewani, who returned to Britain shortly after his wife's murder, had fought his extradition, claiming he had mental health problems, including depression and post-traumatic stress.

He has been undergoing tests at the Valkenberg hospital in Cape Town to see if he is fit to stand trial.

If he is not found fit to face court within 18 months, he will be returned to Britain under the terms of his extradition.

On his arrival in South Africa Dewani was formally charged with murder, conspiracy to commit murder and defeating justice by the country's elite crime-fighting unit, the Hawks.

"Dewani has been accused of orchestrating the murder of his wife. He allegedly ordered local men to carry out a hit on his wife and make it look like a fatal carjacking incident," the Hawks said in a statement.

"A substantial amount of money was paid for the hit."

Dewani denies ordering the killing of his 28-year-old bride Anni in Cape Town in November 2010.

He claims the couple were kidnapped at gunpoint during their honeymoon as they drove through the Gugulethu township in a taxi.

Dewani escaped unharmed, but his wife's body was found in the abandoned car the next day. She had been shot dead.

Prosecutors allege Dewani hired South African Xolile Mngeni to kill Anni. Mngeni was jailed for life for the murder in December 2012.

Two other men also jailed over the killing allege that Dewani ordered the hit.

The case sparked outrage among South Africans who accuse Dewani of callously using the country's reputation for violent crime to murder his wife in the belief that he would get away with it.

Vinod Hindocha, father of the slain bride, has expressed the family's relief that Dewani would finally face trial in South Africa.

"Now we hope we get the answers we've been looking for the past three and a half years," he said.

Dewani's family said in a statement that Dewani remained determined to clear his name.

"We look forward to his health improving, his name being cleared, and there being an end to this legal trauma for all involved," said the statement.

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CRIME

Sweden breaks yearly record for fatal shootings

A man was shot to death in Kristianstad, Skåne, late on Thursday night. He is the 48th person to be shot dead in Sweden this year, meaning that the previous record for most fatal shootings in one year set in 2020 has now been broken.

Sweden breaks yearly record for fatal shootings

“Unfortunately we can’t say more than that he’s in his twenties and we have no current suspects,” duty officer Mikael Lind told TT newswire.

According to police statistics, this most recent deadly shooting means that 48 people have been shot to death in 2022, meaning that Sweden has broken a new record for deadly shootings per year.

Earlier this week, Sweden’s police chief Anders Thornberg said that this number is likely to rise even higher before the end of the year.

“It looks like we’re going to break the record this year,” he told TT on Tuesday. “That means – if it continues at the same pace – around 60 deadly shootings.”

“If it ends up being such a large increase that would be very unusual,” said Manne Gerell, criminiologist at Malmö University.

“We saw a large increase between 2017 and 2018, and we could see the same now, as we’re on such low figures in Sweden. But it’s still worrying that it’s increasing by so much over such a short time period,” he said.

There also seems to be an upwards trend in the number of shootings overall during 2022. 273 shootings had occured by September 1st this year, compared with 344 for the whole of 2021 and 379 for the whole of 2020.

If shootings continue at this rate for the rest of 2022, it is likely that the total number for the year would be higher than 2021 and 2020. There are, however, fewer injuries.

“The majority of shootings cause no injuries, but this year, mortality has increased substantially,” Gerell explained. “There aren’t more people being shot, but when someone is shot, they’re more likely to die.”

Thursday’s shooting took place in Kristianstad, but it’s only partially true that deadly gun violence is becoming more common in smaller cities.

“It’s moved out somewhat to smaller cities, but we’re overexaggerating that effect,” Gerell said. “We’re forgetting that there have been shootings in other small cities in previous years.”

A report from the Crime Prevention Council (Brå) presented last spring showed that Sweden, when compared with 22 different countries in Europe, was the only one with an upwards trend for deadly shootings.

Temporary increases can be seen during some years in a few countries, but there were no countries which showed such a clear increase as Sweden has seen for multiple years in a row, according to Brå.

The Swedish upwards trend for deadly gun violence began in the beginning of the 2000s, but the trend took off in 2013 and has continued to increase since.

Eight of ten deadly shootings take place in criminal environments, the study showed. The Swedish increase has taken place in principle only among the 20-29 year old age group.

When police chief Anders Thornberg was asked how the trend can be broken, he said that new recruitments are one of the most important factors.

“The most important thing is to break recruitment, make sure we can listen encrypted and that we can get to the profits of crime in a better way,” he said.

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