Surgeon wanted in Australia denied bail in US

April 5th, 2008 - 9:54 pm ICT by admin  

New York, April 5 (IANS) Jayant Patel, a surgeon of Indian origin charged with manslaughter and negligence in Australia, has been denied bail, forcing him to remain in a US jail even as he fights extradition proceedings that may take over two years. A judge in a court of Portland, Oregon, Friday turned down Patel’s plea, saying he “should be detained for the duration of the proceedings”.

The judge believed that Patel, a US citizen, had “sufficient assets” to flee, if released, to his country of birth, India.

Patel, 57, has been held in a detention centre in Portland since his arrest from his home March 11.

Australian authorities have charged Patel with 16 offences, including three counts of manslaughter, related to alleged botched operations during his time as head of surgery at Queensland’s Bundaberg Base Hospital between 2003 and 2005.

Patel, who originally belongs to Gujarat where he studied to become a surgeon, immigrated to the US in 1977.

He first began to raise alarm bells in 1984 at a hospital in Buffalo City where health officials cited Patel for failing to examine patients before surgery.

After finishing his three years’ disciplinary probation, he managed to find a job with the Kaiser Permanente Hospital in Portland. By 1998, he had been sued several times and Kaiser severely restricted his practice after reviewing scores of complaints. He left the hospital in 2001.

His wife, Kishoree, is a physician at Kaiser.

His family and friends want him to fight extradition, claiming he will not get a fair trial in Australia because of bad publicity there.

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