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FBI arrests US surgeon wanted in Australia

world Updated: Mar 12, 2008 11:32 IST

Reuters
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A US surgeon wanted in Australia on charges of manslaughter, negligence and fraud was arrested in Oregon on Tuesday.

Jayant Patel, who could face life in prison in Australia, appeared before a US federal magistrate who set the doctor's extradition hearing for April 10. The FBI arrested Patel at his home in suburban Portland.

Patel was charged in Australia with three counts of manslaughter after an inquiry in late 2005 linked him to the deaths of at least 13 patients and the harm of at least 31 others while he was working as a surgeon at the Bundaberg Base Hospital in Queensland state.

Patel, a US citizen born in India, was also charged with three counts of causing grievous bodily harm, two counts of negligence and seven counts of fraud, according to court documents. Australian police began formal extradition proceedings in 2007.

According to court documents, Patel has a history of botched surgeries and negligent care going back two decades.
Regulators in New York found Patel guilty of gross negligence in 1984 and then he moved to Oregon where he eventually had his surgical privileges restricted after a high number of complaints, the documents said.

Patel, 57, found work in Australia in 2003 without disclosing his prior problems, according to the documents.