Australian collar bomb suspect waives extradition hearing

Reuters News
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Posted: Sep 14, 2011 4:13 PM
Australian collar bomb suspect waives extradition hearing

(Reuters) - A man accused of strapping a fake bomb to the neck of a teenage girl in Australia in a failed extortion plot waived an extradition hearing in U.S. federal court on Wednesday, allowing him to return to Australia to face 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.

On Wednesday, Peters signed an affidavit waiving extradition and asking the court to expedite his return, in custody, to Australia.

The federal magistrate hearing the case said Peters, who appeared in court wearing a black-and-white striped prison jumpsuit, was to be remanded to the custody of U.S. Marshals pending notification of Australian authorities, said Stephanie Collins, a spokeswoman with the U.S. Attorney's Office in Louisville, Kentucky.

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 Mary Wisniewski in Chicago; Editing by Cynthia Johnston)