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Last Updated: Monday, 6 February 2006, 08:13 GMT
Surgeon 'should face 28 charges'
Jayant Patel
Mr Patel refuses to comment on the allegations of malpractice
Australian police have recommended a surgeon linked to the deaths of several patients should face 28 charges, including four of manslaughter.

Queensland's public prosecutor will now decide whether to bring charges.

Jayant Patel fled Australia in April after a nurse at the hospital where he was working made public allegations of malpractice against him.

Mr Patel, who is now believed to be in Oregon, in the US, has refused to comment on the allegations.

More than 35,000 pages of evidence have been handed to Queensland prosecutors, Police Commissioner Bob Atkinson told reporters on Monday.

If the prosecutor goes ahead with the charges, the matter will be forwarded to federal officials and then to US authorities.

A six-month enquiry in Australia, which wrapped up late last year, said Mr Patel was responsible for 13 deaths as a result of negligence.

It also recommended that two hospital administrators be prosecuted for hiring and promoting Mr Patel.

Australian police are seeking the extradition of Mr Patel from the US.

Mr Patel was educated in India and worked for 20 years in New York and Oregon, but had his medical licence withdrawn in both states.

He then moved to Australia in 2003, where he falsified his application and obtained a job as director of surgery at a rural Queensland hospital.

The case has widened to become an investigation into Queensland's health system in general, following questions about how Mr Patel was able to practise in Queensland, despite being cited for previous negligence in two US states.

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