Thursday, February 24, 2011

Shrien Dewani should be detained for own safety, court told

Newlywed accused of arranging wife's murder allowed to remain on bail despite taking a 'massive drug overdose'
Shrien Dewani
Shrien Dewani, right, the man accused of having his wife murdered during their honeymoon in South Africa, arrives at Belmarsh magistrates court. Photograph: Matt Dunham/AP
Shrien Dewani, the bridegroom accused of hiring a hitman to kill his wife while on honeymoon in South Africa, should be jailed for his own safety after taking more than 40 tablets, a court was told.

Dewani, 31, who denies murdering his wife Anni in Cape Town last November, has been on bail pending an extradition request. Belmarsh magistrates court, south-east London, heard he had been taken to hospital after taking a "massive drug overdose" that almost killed him.
Ben Watson, for the South African authorities, said that raised fears he might fail to attend future hearings and his detention was necessary for his own safety. But Dewani, 31, was allowed to remain on bail at his Bristol home.

Dewani looking dazed and was moving sluggishly as his father, Prakash, insisted his family would keep his "innocent son" safe and prove his innocence.

"We are undertaking every single thing possible to first get better, defend himself and when he does I want my son safe – not beaten or tortured," said Prakash Dewani.

"We will ensure he stands trial in South Africa to clear his name. But when he goes to South Africa he must be safe."

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

The family insist that Dewani had not intended to take his own life despite taking 46 tablets.
His barrister, Julian Knowles, said Dewani had simply taken too many sleeping tablets. His psychiatrist, Dr Paul Dedman, said his patient was trying to get some sleep.