Anni Dewani case: Opposing psychiatrists are partners

September 2nd, 2012 - 6:22 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Sep 2 (IANS) Psychiatrists hired by the prosecution as well as the defence in the honeymoon murder case of Indian-origin bride Anni Dewani were business partners, The Sun reported.

Michael Kopelman was hired by prosecutors to assess the mental state of Shrien Dewani, wanted in South Africa on a charge of plotting Anni’s killing.

The 32-year-old Dewani in turn hired Nigel Eastman to provide the opinion for his defence.

The experts issued a joint statement in which Eastman agreed with Kopelman that Dewani had depression and post-traumatic stress disorder, the daily said.

Their evidence persuaded the High Court in London to suspend Dewani’s extradition on the basis that he was too ill to plead.

According to The Sun, Kopelman did not tell the court that he and Eastman became business partners 13 days before making their joint statement.

However, the daily said there was no suggestion that their joint testimony was in any way altered or tainted by the business link, or that either in any way misled the court in giving their opinion.

The Crown Prosecution Service, which is acting on behalf of the South African government in the extradition process, told The Sun that its lawyers were never told of the business link.

The family of the 28-year-old Swedish-born Anni have demanded an inquiry.

“What the hell is going on? All we want is justice,” Anni’s uncle Ashok Hindocha was quoted as saying.

Anni was shot dead while on honeymoon in South Africa. The murder in Cape Town in 2010 was allegedly staged to look like a bungled kidnapping.

Hitman Mziwamadoda Qwabe, who was sentenced to 25 years, said he carried out the execution with Xolile Mngeni on the orders of Shrien Dewani, from Bristol.

Taxi driver Zola Tongo drove the newlyweds to the spot where Dewani was bundled from the car before his wife was shot in the neck.

Dewani insists he is innocent. He opposed extradition, claiming he could contract HIV by being raped in South African prisons and mental illness made him unfit to plead.

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