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"Corporations can be charged with crimes," Laurie Levenson, a law professor at Loyola Law School.

Patients expected Patel to fight extradition

By Nikki Todd | November 03, 2007

FORMER patients of Dr Jayant Patel are disappointed but not surprised by revelations the rogue surgeon will fight his extradition from the US to Australia.
Dr Vijay Mehta, a senior Texas-based surgeon and friend of Dr Patel, confirmed in the United States today the Indian-trained doctor, dubbed ``Dr Death'' in Australia, was preparing for a long court battle over his extradition.
Dr Patel, who fled Australia for his home in Portland, Oregon in 2005, has been linked to the deaths of 17 patients during his time as director of surgery at Bundaberg Hospital in south-east Queensland.
He is wanted in Australia on charges of manslaughter, grievous bodily harm, negligence and fraud.
Dr Mehta said Dr Patel would fight the extradition all the way, as he did not believe he would get a fair trial in Australia due to his notorious reputation.
Bundaberg Hospital Patients Support Group spokeswoman Beryl Crosby said they had been prepared for such news.
"We knew he would fight it,'' Ms Crosby told AAP.
"It is disappointing because it just means that it will be a longer length of time before he is brought back to justice.
"But we were all prepared for that, we have talked about it many times within the group, about the fact he has all these appeal processes in the States to go through.''
Ms Crosby said despite the setback, they remained optimistic that justice would prevail.
"We are all hoping on justice one day - we would be devastated if that didn't happen,'' she said.
Defending Australia's justice system, Ms Crosby said it was insulting that Dr Patel did not believe he would get a fair trial here.
"To say that he wouldn't get a fair trial makes a mockery of the Australian people,'' she said.

"That is like saying they can't find 12 credible people to put on the jury - that is a bit insulting.''

Ms Crosby said the nickname  "Dr Death'' was first coined by Dr Patel's colleagues at the hospital and not by his former patients or the media.

Formal extradition proceedings have begun in the US. It is expected Dr Patel will be arrested by US Marshalls once the final paperwork is completed between Australian and US authorities.

The arrest could come before Christmas.

If Dr Patel is arrested and fights extradition, he could be housed in a US jail until his case is dealt with by American courts.  

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