The man accused of murdering 24-year-old Toyah Cordingley on a Queensland beach four years ago is on the move as formal legal proceedings are underway to extradite him to face trial in Australia. , made a brief court appearance in New Delhi.
Rajwinder Singh, 38, an Australian from India, is scheduled to appear in court on December 17 for a further hearing regarding Australia’s extradition request.
“It was the earliest date we could get,” Ajay Digpoor, a prosecutor representing the Indian government, told reporters outside the Magistrate’s Court.
Singh arrived at the central Delhi courthouse wearing a light winter jacket and the same navy T-shirt and blue turban he wore when he was arrested by police last Friday.
A four-year search for Singh, who boarded a plane to India shortly after Cordingley was reported missing, ended with his capture.
Singh, who worked as a nurse in Australia, kept her head down and emotionless in court.
Singh’s defense attorneys argued at the hearing that the defendant had not received any documentation supporting the extradition to Australia.
Digpaul told the court that Singh’s lawyer received all the documents.
“Australia is conducting a full investigation and is using Australian documents to support the extradition,” Digpole said.
The Indian government has given provisional consent to Australia’s extradition request.
However, a magistrate’s court must hear the evidence put together by Australian investigators and approve Shin’s extradition before the government gives the final green light for Shin’s return to Australia.
Indian media say Singh told local investigators that he stabbed Cordingley after an altercation over his barking dog at Wangetti Beach, north of Cairns.
Digpole, who described Corddry’s murder as a “heinous crime”, said the prosecution wanted to move “at maximum speed” to extradite Singh.
However, he said Singh “has the right to appeal” the court’s decision to send him back to Australia.
Singh, who has a wife and three children in Australia, will remain in Delhi’s Tihar Prison, South Asia’s largest prison, “until bail is granted,” Digpole said.
Prosecutors said Singh could seek bail but would oppose requests for release.
“He can apply for bail, but the allegations are so serious that it’s much less likely that he’ll be released on bail. Also, he was a fugitive, so he’s at risk of escape.” Digpole told AAP.
Clean-shaven in Australia, Singh wore a long beard and a turban to disguise himself in India, constantly moving from place to place to avoid arrest.
He was arrested after the Queensland government offered a record $1 million reward in early November for information leading to his arrest.
Australian police say the prize has led to a flood of information about Singh’s whereabouts.
However, the extradition process in India can be very lengthy.
The country is laden with millions of pending cases and judicial movement is very slow.
The extradition of Puneet Puneet, the hit-and-run drunk driver who killed Queensland teen Dean Hoffsey in 2008, has raised concerns about how long it will take Singh to return to Australia.
Puneet fled to India in 2009 after pleading guilty to death due to negligent driving and remained in hiding until his arrest in 2013.
Puneet has since sought extradition in Australia claiming he would “face discrimination” and “will be tortured”, but Indian prosecutors dismissed the claim as “hogwash”.
In July, Punit was released on bail to care for her ailing parents, another blow to extradition efforts.
Digpole said there was nothing to suggest that Shin’s extradition case could similarly drag on.
“The facts vary from case to case. How each case progresses is all dependent on the specific set of facts within the case,” he told AAP.
https://www.perthnow.com.au/news/crime/cordingley-death-suspect-appears-in-court-c-9022344 Corddry death suspect appears in court