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'Dr Death' Jayant Patel to file new bail plea

world Updated: Jun 02, 2008 08:57 IST

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The case of India-born surgeon Jayant Patel, arrested in America over death of 17 patients in Australia, is all set to be heard by a US court today, which could see the defamed doctor filing a fresh bail plea.

The scheduled hearing is being dubbed as a victory for Patel as his lawyer alleged that Australian authorities had failed to supply requested documents in his extradition case.

The hearing could lead to a fresh bail bid by Patel, who has been held in a US prison for over two months on charges of manslaughter, and also delay his extradition hearing set for June 26 in Portland by three weeks, an AAP report said today.

Patel, who hails from Jamnagar, Gujarat, was denied bail by the district court in April.

Last week, Patel's lawyer, Marc Blackman, had claimed that Queensland police Sergeant Graham Walker advised him on May nine that documents in the extradition case would be sent to the US.

However, Blackman said the documents did not arrive and there was "no explanation for the delay".

The lawyer told US District Court judge Dennis Hubel that the delay constituted special circumstances warranting 58-year-old Patel's release from prison on bail "pending the extradition hearing".

Today's hearing will be held via a teleconference, with Patel, 58, likely listening in from jail.

The surgeon, dubbed as 'Dr Death' by the media in Australia, has been at the high-security Multnomah County Detention Centre in Portland, Oregon, since his arrest by the FBI on March 11 on a request by the Australian government.

Australia is seeking extradition of Patel to face 16 charges, including three of manslaughter. He faces three life sentences if convicted on those charges.