Dr. Death' wants to go to church and see his cardiologist

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London, June 28 : Controversial Indian-born surgeon Dr. Jayant Patel, who is facing manslaughter charges in Australia but is currently in jail in Portland, U.S.A, says that he wants to spend the final weeks before his extradition to Australia relaxing at his luxury US home, attending church on Sundays and seeing a cardiologist.

Patel, who is also known as Dr. Death', is facing 16 charges, including the manslaughter of three patients during allegedly botched operations conducted at the Bundaberg Base Hospital in Queensland between 2003 and 2005.

Patel, who was denied bail on Friday, has been described by his friends as emotionally and financially "broken".

Patel, 58, could be back in Australia within weeks, beginning the next chapter in Queensland's protracted legal battle to bring him to justice.

US District Court Judge Dennis Hubel yesterday set July 21 as the deadline for both the U.S. and Australian Governments to effect Patel's extradition, failing which he would be released on bail and placed under home detention.

In weighing up the arguments for bail, Judge Hubel criticized the length of time it has taken Australian and US authorities to prepare Patel's extradition.

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has 60 days to agree to the extradition. Assistant US attorney Dwight Holton, who is representing the Australian Government, told Judge Hubel the process usually took between two and three weeks and Australian authorities could arrive in Portland "within days" to return Patel to Queensland.

Patel, who is a US citizen, fled Australia in April 2005. A warrant for his arrest was issued in November 2006, but it was not until March 11 this year that he was finally arrested by FBI agents at his Portland home and extradition proceedings began.

If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of life behind bars.

ANI

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