The Honey Moon killer in South Africa has been found fit to stand trial.
Yahoo! News is reporting the man, Shrien Dewani, has been found fit for trial Friday after being observed at a Cape Town hospital. He will now stand trial for arranging his wife’s murder while they were on honeymoon in South Africa.
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 this phase of the trial, as did his family. He will also be in court for a pre-trial hearing in September.
Dewani’s bride, Anni, was found in an abandoned taxi cab in the Cape Town area, having been shot dead. Dewani says he and Anni were carjacked at gunpoint while traveling in a taxi through Cape Town’s Gugulethu township on November 13, 2010. While the businessman was released unharmed, his wife was found dead in the back seat of the abandoned vehicle the next day with a gunshot wound in her neck. Dewani is accused of hiring men to kill her and make the scene look like a botched carjacking. Three men have been found guilty of the murder.
Bloomberg is reporting a panel of three court-appointed psychiatrists and a psychologist unanimously found that Dewani didn’t suffer from any mental condition that would make him unfit for trial. High Court Judge John Hlophe agreed, and ruled Dewani fit for trial. The Honey Moon Murder Trial, as it has become known, will start on October 6 and conclude sometime in December, said de Kock, director for public prosecutions in the Western Cape province.
De Kock also said Dewani would remain in the Valkenberg psychiatric hospital “for monitoring and therapy” until the trial starts.
“All his mental issues have been resolved and we are happy that the court has found him fit to stand trial,” De Kock told reporters after today’s hearing. “We trust that this trial will be concluded as speedily as possible and that justice will take its course.”