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British honeymoon murder suspect 'mulls return to S. Africa'


A British man accused of orchestrating his bride's murder on their South African honeymoon is recovering from mental illness and has talked about returning to fight the case against him, his extradition hearing was told on Monday.

Shrien Dewani, 33, is wanted in South Africa over the murder of his wife Anni, who was shot dead when their car was apparently hijacked outside Cape Town in 2010.

British judges delayed Dewani's extradition until at least July on the grounds that he is suffering from serious depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

The businessman, who is being treated at a psychiatric hospital, denies any involvement in the killing of his Swedish wife, who was, like him, of Indian origin.

A South African man, Xolile Mngeni, was jailed for life for the murder in December. Two other local men jailed over the killing allege that Dewani ordered the hit.

As the full extradition hearing got under way, the lawyer representing South African authorities said the severity of Dewani's depression, PTSD and risk of suicide had decreased.

"We suggest that there has been significant and sustained improvement," Hugo Keith told Westminster Magistrates' Court.

Dewani's depression is now moderate rather than severe and he is suffering from PTSD "considerably less" than before, Keith added.

The court heard that Dewani still suffers from poor memory and an inability to concentrate, but no longer makes references to suicide.

Dewani was not present at the hearing but Anni's father, sister and brother were in court with other relatives to watch the start of the five-day hearing.

South Africa has offered reassurances that if Dewani was found to be mentally ill he would be admitted to a psychiatric hospital there.

His lawyers told a hearing in December that Dewani was a "husk" of a man who suffered flashbacks of the night his bride was killed and was afraid to go outside.