Melbourne, Sep.29 (ANI): Victoria Premier John Brumby has upset family members of a Queensland boy killed by an Indian student in a car crash last year, by saying that the latter's extradition to Australia from India is not an immediate priority.
Nineteen-year-old Puneet Puneet, a hospitality student from India, skipped bail in August and fled to India on a friend's passport after pleading guilty to culpable driving.
Last October, Puneet killed Dean Hofstee, 19, and seriously injured Clancy Coker, 20, both university students from the Gold Coast.
According to the Courier Mail, Brumby said on Monday that raising the issue of Puneet's extradition "was not a priority" while he met with officials to discuss a spate of attacks on Indian students in Melbourne.
Victoria's Chief Commissioner Simon Overland said Brumby was right not to raise the issue with officials as extraditions were a matter for the Commonwealth.
He would not reveal how close police were to locating Puneet.
"These matters can take years, okay? They can take years to resolve, so I'm not going to put any timelines about this. I'm not going to give a running commentary about where the process is up to," Overland said.
"The public needs to understand this and be patient," he added.
Acting Premier and Attorney-General Rob Hulls said his heart went out to the Hofstee family.
"This is a person who is a flight risk. This is a person who has already absconded on one occasion and the last thing we want is for him to abscond again," he told reporters.
"I am firmly of the view that this person will be brought back to face the full force of the law."
Dean's mother Fran Hofstee told ABC Radio that Brumby's comments had upset her family. (ANI)