Melbourne, Jun 27: Accused surgeon Jayant Patel has formally agreed to return to Australia to face trial for manslaughter and other charges relating to his time at Queensland's Bundaberg Base Hospital. The former director of surgery appeared in the US District Court in Portland, Oregon today and signed "consent to extradition", form.
Dr Patel formally signed the extradition on Friday, June 27 morning and the court was told that Dr Patel could be back in Australia within several weeks, but this would depend on both the Australian and US governments finalising the appropriate paperwork. US District Court judge Dennis Hubel said he hoped to make a decision on bail tomorrow but indicated today that he was leaning towards granting the Indian-born surgeon's application.
Dr Patel's lawyer Marc Blackman argued that his client was not an escape risk. "He is consenting because he wants his day in court (in Australia)," Blackman told the court in Portland, Oregon.
He also said that under Queensland law, Dr Patel's legal team believed that he would be released on bail after being extradited.
Before making his decision, Judge Hubel today sought a timeline for Dr Patel's extradition proceedings and when Australian authorities would arrive to pick him up.
Dr Patel faces 16 charges, including manslaughter, grievous bodily harm and fraud.
The US-trained doctor is being held in Multnomah County Detention Centre but wants to be able to live with his wife while he waits for the extradition paperwork to be completed.
He had agreed to wear a monitoring unit, and wished to attend medical appointments and religious services, his lawyer Marc Blackman wrote in a document handed to the court yesterday.