'Extradition could do Dewani good'

SA authorities say they will allow Shrien Dewani mainstream mental health treatment.

A forensic psychiatrist has said returning murder accused Shrien Dewani to South Africa might make him stronger in the long term. Picture: Picture:Dewani Allegations Facebook Page.

LONDON - Extraditing honeymoon murder accused Shrien Dewani to South Africa might do him good in the long term.

This is according to forensic psychiatrist Dr Ian Cumming who spoke during the second day of Dewani's extradition hearing on Tuesday.

The 32-year-old is accused of masterminding the murder of his bride Anni in an alleged staged hijacking in Cape Town in November 2010.

Cumming, one of Britain's leading consultant forensic psychiatrists in prisons, is acting for prosecutors working for the South African government.

He claims Dewani will not get better overnight.

Cumming says although returning him to South Africa might set him back temporarily, it might make him stronger later.

However Dewani's defence team is arguing he should be allowed more time to recover.

Dewani's legal team has also questioned why Cummings refused to speak to another psychiatrist to discuss the case.

A professor acting on the defence's behalf is expected to give his evidence.

He is known to be much more cautious in his assessment of Dewani.

Meanwhile, South African authorities have said they are prepared to make an exception for Dewani in terms of where he would be held if extradited and detained in custody.

The court was told he would be held in a general psychiatrist unit of the Valkenburg Hospital whereas normally those going through the court process will be held in the forensic psychiatric unit.

Cumming visited Valkenburg Hospital in the Western Cape in March and says he has no qualms about Dewani being treated there.

He said this was exceptional and probably the first time it happened and his visits and interviews with staff were open and transparent.

Dewani is suffering from depression and severe post-traumatic stress disorder.

He however denies any involvement in the crime.

Three men are already serving lengthy jail sentences for their part in the killing.

Anni's family has urged Dewani to return to South Africa to clear his name so they can find closure.