Indian born rogue surgeon, Dr. Jayant Patel has apparently told his neighbours in the US, that charges of manslaughter against him in Queensland, and causing death due to negligence, have been dropped. Dr Patel, dubbed Dr. Death has been linked to 17 deaths at Bundaberg Base Hospital, Queensland.
The government of Peter Beattie, Premier of Queensland, has been pressing for his extradition from the US. According to an AAP news report, Dr. Patel has been telling neighbours in the US that Australia is not proceeding with moves to extradite him.
Network Nine tonight showed grainy footage of Dr Patel, talking at the door of his Seattle mansion, saying that charges of manslaughter, grievous bodily harm and fraud against him have been dropped.
Bundaberg Patients' Support Group spokeswoman Beryl Crosby, however, refuted that charges against Dr. Patel had been dropped and plans to extradite him have also been shelved.
"He's been telling the neighbours over there that we've dropped the charges. I was on the blower to the Attorney-General (Kerry Shine) yesterday and got an update that extradition and everything is going ahead according to their plan, I guess," said Ms. Crosby.
Dr. Patel fled to the US on April 1 2005 after allegations of medical incompetence were raised in state parliament. Last November, warrants were issued for his arrest on a number of charges, including three of manslaughter and five of causing grievous bodily harm, and authorities are working to extradite him from the US.
The AAP report also quoted Premier Beattie as saying that Dr. Patel would be returned, the "law willing". "If Jayant Patel is really serious about defending himself then what he should do is get on an airplane and come home. If he wants to avoid extradition, if he wants to face up to what happened in Bundaberg ... then here's the chance to do it," said Premier Beattie.