Page last updated at 11:01 GMT, Monday, 21 July 2008 12:01 UK

'Dr Death' returns to Australia

Jayant Patel
Jayant Patel decided not to fight extradition proceedings from the US

A man dubbed "Doctor Death" by Australian media has been returned to Australia to face charges relating to the deaths of patients in his care.

Dr Jayant Patel was granted bail by a Queensland court after arriving on a flight from the United States.

Three charges of manslaughter are among the 14 offences with which Dr Patel is charged. The others include grievous bodily harm, fraud and negligence.

Dr Patel has previously said he is innocent of all charges.

Relatives of his former patients said they were relieved that he had arrived.

Some have campaigned for three years to bring him back to Australia.

"I'm very apprehensive about it, but I'm very excited that... at last he is here," Judy Kemps, whose husband was a former patient of Dr Patel's and died after surgery in 2004, told AP news agency.

Dr Patel - an Indian-born US citizen - was detained by police in the US after Australia launched extradition proceedings against him, which he eventually decided not to fight.

Bail conditions

Dr Patel's return received headline coverage in the Australian media, with news vehicles and helicopters following his transfer from the airport to a cell in a police station in Brisbane.

Soon afterwards, despite prosecution objections a Brisbane court released Dr Patel on A$20,000 bail ($19,500; 9,800).

He will be forced to live in an approved residence, surrender his passport, and report to police three times a week.

The charges Dr Patel is facing relate to his employment as a surgeon by a hospital in the Queensland town of Bundaberg between early 2003 and early 2005.

A judicial inquiry in 2005 linked Dr Patel's allegedly deficient practices directly to the deaths of 13 patients. In addition, it suggested such practices could have contributed to the deaths of a further four patients.

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