Extradition hearing of Dr Patel delayed in US

June 3rd, 2008 - 10:56 am ICT by IANS  

New York, June 3 (IANS) The hearing of Dr Jayant Patel’s extradition to Australia, where he faces manslaughter charges, has been delayed by three weeks in a US court. The district court judge ordered the hearing to now take place on July 16 in Portland, Oregon, instead of the original date set for June 26. Dr Patel’s lawyer had requested postponement last week on the plea that Queensland police had failed to produce requested documents, nor given a valid reason for the same.

There was no mention during Monday’s hearing of Dr Patel making a fresh bid for bail ahead of the July 16 extradition proceedings. The hearing was held via teleconference, with Dr Patel listening in from jail. He was denied bail by the court in April after his arrest on March 11.

Dr Patel, 58-year-old Indian American surgeon dubbed as ‘Dr Death’ by the Australian media, has been held at the high-security Multnomah County Detention Centre in Portland, since his arrest by the FBI over two months ago on a request by the Australian government.

He faces 16 charges in Queensland related to his employment as director of surgery at Bundaberg Base Hospital between 2003 and 2005. The manslaughter charges relate to the deaths of three of Patel’s patients at the hospital.

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