A New Delhi court on Tuesday approved the extradition request of the prime suspect in the murder of a woman on an Australian beach four years ago.
Rajwinder Singh, who is of Indian origin, was arrested in November on the outskirts of the Indian capital. His arrest came three weeks after he was targeted with a $677,000 reward.
Australia had applied for Singh’s extradition to India in March 2021, but it was not received.
Singh, 38, had arrived in India from Sydney a day after the body of 24-year-old Australian Toyah Cordingley was found off the Queensland state coast on October 22, 2018.
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The court order approving Singh’s extradition to Australia will now need to be signed by the Indian government, which could take a few weeks, said Ajay Digpaul, standing counsel for the federal Indian government. They said Singh had waived his right to challenge extradition earlier this month.
In November, Australia’s Attorney General said that Singh’s extradition was a “high priority” for his government and that it would work with the Indian authorities to ensure that Singh was returned to Australia to face justice.
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On 3 November, the Queensland government offered the largest reward in the state’s history to anyone providing information about the lion.
The reward was unique in that it did not seek a single clue that would solve a crime and lead to a successful prosecution. Instead, money is offered for information that leads only to a suspect’s location and arrest.
Indian police arrested Singh the same day they received information about his whereabouts, the Australian Federal Police said in November.
The New Delhi Police said that based on intelligence shared by France-based international policing organization Interpol as well as Australian police, Singh was arrested on a highway to his home state of Punjab.
According to Australian police, in 2018 Singh was “considered to have fled the apprehension in the Punjab region of India since traveling to the country”.
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Singh was employed as a nurse in Innisfail, a town south of the major city of Cairns, when Cordingley was murdered on Wangeti Beach. She went to the beach to walk her dog.
Australia and India have an extradition treaty since 2010, but the process can be slow.
For 13 years, Australia has been seeking the extradition of Puneet Puneet, a 33-year-old Indian national who fled Australia after being convicted of drunk driving and speeding in downtown Melbourne in 2008, killing a pedestrian and injuring another. went.