Honeymoon murder suspect Shrien Dewani appeared at a South African court on Tuesday, more than three years after he is accused of arranging the murder of his wife Anni during the couple’s honeymoon in Cape Town in November 2010.
Mr Dewani was dressed in a smart black suit as he arrived at the Western Cape High Court around mid-day, accompanied by his family and legal team.
The 33-year-old businessman from Bristol was flown out of the UK on Monday night after Britain’s High Court rejected Mr Dewani’s appeal against deportation to South Africa to face trial.
After appearing in court, Mr Dewani was charged with conspiracy to commit murder and defeating the ends of justice. He was remanded at the government-run Valkenberg Psychiatric hospital in Cape Town until the next hearing on 12 May 2014.
Mr Dewani’s wife was killed after the couple’s car was hijacked as they drove through the Gugulethu township in Cape Town. Mr Dewani was later released but Anni was shot dead.
Three South Africans have already been jailed for the murder but South African prosecutors maintain that Mr Dewani arranged his own wife’s murder.
Since returning from South Africa, Mr Dewani has been held at a secure mental health facility in Bristol suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. His lawyers have repeatedly fought deportation to South Africa, claiming that Mr Dewani is “mentally unfit” to stand trial.
A succession of British courts however, disagreed and ordered that Mr Dewani be sent to South Africa to face trial. South African prosecutors have also provided assurances about Mr Dewani’s custodial arrangements as well as the time frame for the trial.
Mr Dewani’s family has enlisted the services of the expensive and high profile Francois Van Zyl as his defence lawyer.