George activist loses battle to bar Dewani extradition

AN APPLICATION by an activist in George, Western Cape, informing the Westminster magistrate’s court in London that South Africa’s legal system was corrupt and that murder accused Shrien Dewani would not receive a fair trial has been dismissed.

Lara Johnstone, 43, told The Herald she had received notice from the court that her application to proceed as an Amicus Curiae (friend of the court) to oppose Dewani’s extradition to South Africa had been ruled “inappropriate”.

She said she had filed a complaint with the court alleging irregularities with the due process and bias by the magistrate as the court would not provide her with a copy of the ruling or identify the magistrate who made the decision.

Johnstone, a follower of the Radical Honesty cult that believes in telling the truth at all times, made her application because she believed Dewani, accused of having his wife Anni killed during their honeymoon in Cape Town last year, would not get a fair hearing considering the public outcry in his case.

“People who have not seen the evidence have already pronounced judgment. Where is the principle of innocent until proven guilty?

“If he sincerely believes he is innocent, there is no chance that he can clear his name in our courts, which are swayed by public perception. Even if he is found innocent, people will say he bribed the judge. If he is guilty, he should be found guilty on the evidence, not on political propaganda,” Johnstone said.

Dewani, 31, is currently facing an extradition hearing to stand trial on charges of murder, conspiracy to murder, kidnapping, robbery with aggravated circumstances and obstruction of justice.

Taxi driver Zola Tongo was sentenced to 18 years in prison after he submitted a plea agreement which implicated Dewani in an alleged R15,000 hit on Anni.

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