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US doctor wanted in Australia arrested

world Updated: Mar 12, 2008 09:49 IST

Federal agents in the US state of Oregon on Tuesday arrested a US doctor wanted in Australia for the deaths of three patients who allegedly died after he botched their plastic surgeries, the FBI said.

"At approximately 7:30 am, FBI agents arrested Jayant Patel, 57, at his Washington County (Oregon) home," Elizabeth Steele, a spokesperson for the FBI in Portland, told AFP.

Australian authorities have linked Patel, dubbed "Dr. Death" to at least 17 deaths at a Queensland hospital, Australian media reported.

Patel, who was born in India and is a US citizen, worked for several years in the northwestern state of Oregon before authorities revoked his license for a series of botched plastic surgeries, according to local media reports.

He then moved to Australia where his surgical work led to the Australian government issuing an arrest warrant for Patel for the deaths of three of his patients in the Bundaberg Base Hospital in Queensland.

He reportedly fled the country in 2005.

According to a statement by the US Attorney's Office in Oregon, Canberra has charged Patel with 16 counts including three counts of manslaughter, three counts of grievous bodily harm, and two counts of negligence or omissions causing harm.

If extradited and convicted he could be sent to prison for life.

Patel appeared in the US District Courthouse in Portland, where a magistrate ordered a bail hearing for Thursday and an extradition hearing on April 10.