Australian collar bomb suspect asks to waive extradition

Reuters News
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Posted: Sep 13, 2011 7:34 PM
Australian collar bomb suspect asks to waive extradition

(Reuters) - A man accused of strapping a fake bomb to the neck of a teenage girl in Australia in a failed extortion plot has told a U.S. federal judge he wants to return home to face the charges.

Paul Douglas Peters, who was arrested in Kentucky in August in connection with the bizarre scheme, had been scheduled to have an extradition hearing in the case next month.

But on Tuesday, Peters informed the judge hearing his case that he wanted to waive the hearing, said Stephanie Collins, a spokeswoman with the U.S. Attorney's Office in Louisville, Kentucky. The judge will consider the request on Wednesday.

If the request is granted, Peters will either be released into the custody of the Australian authorities or remain in the custody of U.S. Marshals until Australian authorities can collect him, Collins said.

On August 3, a man wearing a balaclava broke into the suburban Sydney home of Bill Pulver, the wealthy chief executive of Appen Butler Hill, a company that makes speech recognition and text-to-speech software.

The only person home was Pulver's 18-year-old daughter, Madeleine.

The intruder strapped a device to the girl's neck that he said was a bomb he could detonate by remote control, and left behind a ransom note. He also reportedly told the girl the device had a microphone that allowed him to monitor her conversations.

Authorities tracked down Peters, an investment banker with ties to Pulver's company, through an e-mail account on Gmail, security camera footage in Australia and the Range Rover car he drove, according to the court documents.

(Reporting by James B. Kelleher in Chicago; Editing by Cynthia Johnston)