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NRI Honeymoon murder suspect not faking illness

Hospital staff do not believe that the British businessman Shrien Dewani is manipulating assessment of his mental health to avoid extradition to South Africa for allegedly plotting the murder of his wife in November last year, a court has heard.

world Updated: Jul 20, 2011 23:44 IST
Steven Morris and agencies

Hospital staff do not believe that the British businessman Shrien Dewani is manipulating assessment of his mental health to avoid extradition to South Africa for allegedly plotting the murder of his wife in November last year, a court has heard.

Dewani is suffering from severe depression and post-traumatic stress disorder following the murder of his wife, Anni, during their honeymoon in Cape Town, and his legal team has argued that he is too ill to return to face trial.

But the extradition hearing in London has been told that Dewani has ignored some medical advice, such as taking part in group therapy sessions and going outside to help combat a vitamin D deficiency.

Representing the South Africans at the hearing, Hugo Keith QC asked an expert in neuropsychiatry, Michael Kopelman, whether there was any evidence of “a deliberate decision to avoid getting better by refusing treatment”.

Kopelman said he believed that Dewani’s refusals were symptoms of his conditions and that those caring for him did not suspect deliberate manipulation.

But he said: “We cannot exclude the possibility that there may be some evidence of conscious manipulation.” The Guardian