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Indian origin doc to be extradited

The move is a great relief for Dr Patel's victims, who accuse the Govt of doing little to prosecute him.

india Updated: Nov 22, 2006 14:14 IST

Queensland police in Australia have applied to a magistrate to approve the extradition of disgraced India-born surgeon Jayant Patel, dubbed 'Dr Death' by the media, from the US.

The move is seen as a major relief for Patel's victims who have accused the government of doing little to prosecute him.

Patel's work as director of surgery at the Queensland hospital has been linked to at least 17 deaths and dozens of injuries.

He found himself at the centre of a medical scandal in early 2005 when he was accused of gross incompetence while working at Bundaberg Base Hospital in Queensland.

Beryl Crosby, a spokesperson for the Bundaberg patients support group, said she was happy the fight to get Patel back to Australia had finally shown signs of coming to an end, according to the Australian newspaper.

"I'm feeling very relieved," she said.

If extradited, Patel will face manslaughter charges involving patients who allegedly died as a result of his surgical error at the Bundaberg Base Hospital.

Patel fled to America in March 2005, just a fortnight before it was revealed that he had deceived the Queensland Medical Board.

The Indian born surgeon is expected to fight the extradition proceedings because of his belief that he would not receive a fair trial in Australia, according to the newspaper.

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) said the extradition was a complicated one and would take months.

"It is not possible at this stage to anticipate how long the extradition process would take," she said in a statement.