Sydney, Nov 4 (UNI) Rogue Indian surgeon Jayant Patel will fight extradition to Australia, sparking a legal battle in the US court system that could last more than four years.
Officials believe Dr Patel, who lives in Oregon, US, could be arrested before Christmas once final paperwork for the extradition of the fugitive medic was completed. The extradition proceedings have begun.
''He is going to fight the extradition. He does not want to go to Australia because he does not think he will get a fair trial.
He thinks the system there is biased and they have already made up their mind,'' Dr Vijay Mehta, chief of vascular and thoracic surgery at a Texan hospital and a friend of Dr Patel was quoted by Sydney Morning Herald as saying.
If Patel is arrested and fights extradition, he could be housed in a US jail until his case is dealt with by American courts.
Dr Patel, who worked as director of surgery at Bundaberg Base Hospital in southeast Queensland from 2003, fled to the US in April 2005 after being linked to the deaths of 17 former patients.
The extradition request is understood to relate to 16 charges, including manslaughter and grievous bodily harm.