Dr. Death unlikely to be extradited to Australia for ‘months’, if not years

November 14th, 2007 - 8:17 am ICT by admin  
Federal Justice Minister David Johnston was quoted by ABC Radio as saying that though the extradition process had been completed a month ago, the chances of the immediate return of Patel, who is also known as “Dr. Death” is remote.

Senator Johnston said the matter was now in the hands of the Queensland Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), whose role it was to liaise directly with the district attorney’s office in Portland, Oregon, where Patel is living.

A spokesman for the DPP today could not confirm whether contact had been made with US authorities.

Senator Johnston said he hoped the extradition proceedings against Dr Patel would take a matter of months rather than years, but said the surgeon would have the option of appealing the order in the US court system.

Other federal sources, who spoke off the record, said it was unlikely that Dr Patel will be in Australia before Christmas.

Attorney-General Phillip Ruddock also confirmed this morning the Commonwealth role in the process was complete and the responsibility now rested with Queensland authorities.

“The progress that is made is totally their responsibility. The Commonwealth has done all that it can to progress the matter,” Ruddock said.

Indian-trained Dr Patel worked as director of surgery at Bundaberg Base Hospital in South-East Queensland before being named in state parliament and fleeing to Oregon in April 2005.

The extradition request is understood to relate to 16 charges, including manslaughter and grievous bodily harm.

Bundaberg Patient Support Group advocate Beryl Crosby said the group was informed that the extradition process had moved to the United States.

Queensland Police Commissioner Bob Atkinson is understood to be travelling to Bundaberg on Monday to discuss the progress of the extradition with the Bundaberg Patients Support Group. (ANI)

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