London, Jan 31 (IANS) An Indian-origin businessman in Britain, accused of arranging the killing of his wife during a honeymoon trip to South Africa, continues to argue that he is mentally unfit to be sent for trial to that country.
Anni Dewani, 28, was shot as she and her husband Shrien Dewani travelled in a taxi on the outskirts of Cape Town in November 2010 and the latter is accused of orchestrating the murder.
So far three men have been convicted in South Africa in the case: Xolile Mngeni, who was found guilty of shooting her, taxi driver Zola Tongo, who admitted to his part in the killing and Mziwamadoda Qwabe, another accused who has also pleaded guilty to murder.
A panel of three judges, headed by the Lord Chief Justice Lord Thomas of England and Wales, will Friday announce a decision on whether Dewani will be extradited to South Africa to face trial, the Guardian reported.
Defence lawyers say that Dewani is suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and is unfit to plead under English law.
Dewani is compulsorily detained in hospital under the Mental Health Act. His next annual review of his mental state is set for May.
In July 2013, chief magistrate Howard Riddle ruled at the Westminster Magistrates’ court that Dewani should be extradited.
Rejecting his bid to stay in Britain for further treatment, Riddle said Dewani was not fit to plead or stand trial at present but there was evidence he would receive the care he needed in South Africa.
Riddle earlier gave the go-ahead to Dewani’s extradition in 2011. But he had to reconsider the position after the high court allowed an appeal.
Clare Montgomery, defence lawyer for Dewani, told Lord Thomas: “He is presently unfit. He is likely to remain unfit for a period that cannot be foreseen with any accuracy.”
“We suggest that there would be no damage done … if the court were to further adjourn this case,” Montgomery said.
Hugo Keith, who appeared for the government of South Africa, urged the court to dismiss the appeal made by Dewani against his extradition.