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'Patel turning extradition hearing to full trial'

Indian-origin surgeon Jayant Patel, who is facing manslaughter charges, has been accused by US prosecutors of trying to turn his extradition hearing next month into "a full-blown trial".

india Updated: Apr 22, 2008 09:40 IST

Indian-origin surgeon Jayant Patel, who is facing manslaughter charges for alleged botched operations in Australia, has been accused by US prosecutors of trying to turn his extradition hearing next month into "a full-blown trial".

"Ordering the government of Australia to produce the additional documents would convert Patel's extradition hearing into precisely what the Supreme Court has cautioned against - a full-blown trial on the merits before this court," Assistant US attorneys Ethan Knight and Dwight Holton, working on behalf of Australian government, said.

Last week, Patel had asked US District Court judge Dennis Hubel to ask Australian authorities to show the medical records of his alleged victims in Queensland, including three former patients who died after alleged botched operations.

Responding to Patel's request, US prosecutors told the judge that Patel's motion should be denied, according to AAP report today.

It was also revealed last week that Patel had hired an experienced Portland vascular surgeon Roger Alberty as an expert witness in the extradition battle.

On April 11, the extradition hearing of 58-year-old Patel was put off till May 27 by a US judge.

The surgeon, dubbed as "Dr Death" by Australian media, has been locked up in a Portland prison in US since his arrest by FBI officers on March 11 and faces a lengthy prison term if convicted of the 16 charges, including manslaughter, grievous bodily harm and fraud.

Patel, a US citizen and resident of Portland, was director of surgery at Queensland's Bundaberg Base Hospital between 2003 and 2005 where he is alleged to have done botched surgeries.