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Dewani Wins U.K. Extradition Delay on Wife Murder Charge

Shrien Dewani won a ruling delaying proceedings to send him to South Africa to face trial on charges he murdered his wife, with two London judges saying a lower court hadn’t sufficiently considered his mental health.

“It would be unjust and oppressive to order his extradition,” Judge John Thomas said in a ruling today, returning the case to Westminster Magistrates’ Court for a further hearing. “It is plainly in the interests of justice that the appellant be tried in South Africa as soon as he is fit.”

The U.K.’s Home Secretary, Theresa May, signed an extradition order in September allowing him to be extradited to South Africa for trial. Dewani, a British citizen, wasn’t present in court.

South Africa wants to try Dewani for the murder of his wife Anni in Cape Town in November 2010. Anni Dewani was killed after a taxi she and her husband were traveling in was carjacked in Gugulethu, near the city. South African prosecutors allege her husband arranged the murder.

“There have been a lot of delays which have been very painful for us,” Ami Denborg, Anni Dewani’s sister, said outside the court. “We just want him to get better now so he can finally go to South Africa and tell us what happened. We just want to know the truth.”

Dewani’s lawyer has argued his client can’t be extradited because he is suffering from severe post-traumatic stress disorder and depression.

Clear Name

His family said that Dewani maintains his innocence.

He “is determined to return to South Africa to clear his name and seek justice for his wife Anni,” the family said in a statement e-mailed by his lawyer, Andrew Katzen. “The High Court has confirmed that extradition now would be ‘unjust and oppressive.’ Shrien can only go to South Africa when he is well enough and when his personal safety can be guaranteed.”

The case is: Dewani v. Government of The Republic Of South Africa, CO/9406/2011

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