SAfrica: Honeymoon slaying suspect fit for trial

AP News
Posted: Aug 15, 2014 5:17 AM

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — A British man accused of arranging the killing of his wife on their honeymoon in South Africa was on Friday declared fit to stand trial for murder after undergoing psychiatric observation at a Cape Town hospital.

Shrien Dewani is expected to go on trial in early October following a long legal battle during which he was sent to South Africa from Britain in April after years of resisting extradition amid claims he had mental problems. More psychiatric evaluations followed in South Africa, and the conclusions of a mental health panel opened the way for Dewani to face murder and other charges for the 2010 death of his bride, Anni.

"The accused is not mentally ill," the South African Press Association quoted prosecutor Rodney de Kock as saying in the Western Cape High Court. The news agency also quoted defense lawyer Francois van Zyl as saying he did not object to the finding.

Dewani appeared in court during the pre-trial hearing on his mental health. His family members sat in the gallery. He is scheduled to return to court for a pre-trial hearing in September.

Dewani's bride, Anni, was found shot dead in an abandoned taxi in the Cape Town area. Dewani is accused of hiring men to kill her and make it look like a botched carjacking. Three men have been convicted for the murder.