Dewani murder accused could return


Shrien Dewani with wife Anni before she was murdered in South Africa

The husband of murdered honeymooner Anni Dewani may be prepared to return voluntarily to South Africa to stand trial, a close friend has said.

Bristol businessman Shrien Dewani, who is accused of ordering his wife’s murder, has so far resisted attempts to extradite him.

Mrs Dewani, 28, from Sweden, was shot when the taxi the couple were travelling in was hijacked in the Gugulethu township on the outskirts of Cape Town on November 13.

A friend of Mr Dewani told BBC Inside Out West the 31-year-old has not ruled out returning to South Africa to clear his name if certain guarantees can be made. They include being given bail up to the point of final appeal, if one is needed, as well as freedom of movement to help him build his defence case.

Hasmukh Velji Shah, who was said to be speaking with the support of the Dewani family, said: “There are certain issues and questions and guarantees which must be answered and given, such as if Shrien had to go to South Africa, would he be given bail?

“It is for Shrien’s legal team and the South African authorities to discuss this and agree a mutually-agreed programme.”

Mr Shah first met Mr Dewani when he was a student at the University of Manchester and said he thinks of him as family.

He told the programme that Mr Dewani, from Westbury-on-Trym, is confident he can clear his name if he stands trial.

Mr Shah said the Dewani family were looking for answers to a number of questions before deciding whether the businessman would return to South Africa voluntarily.

Mr Dewani, who is currently on bail and living at home in Bristol, is due to appear at City of Westminster Magistrates’ Court on January 20 for the next stage of the extradition process.

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