Australian Suspect in Bombing Hoax Caught in Louisville Suburb

by Devin Katayama on August 16, 2011

A 50-year-old Australian man was arrested yesterday in a Louisville suburb. Paul “Douglas” Peters has been accused by the Australian government of breaking and entering a home near Sydney, Australia and hanging a fake bomb around the neck of a young woman on Aug. 3.

Yesterday, an FBI SWAT team raided Peter’s ex-wife’s home in La Grange and arrested him.

The U.S. has no criminal charges against Peters, but the complaint filed today in the Western District Court of Kentucky in downtown Louisville responded to the Australian warrant that charges Peters with crimes from breaking and entering to kidnapping. The warrant links Peters to the crime through evidence including an email account created in a Chicago airport on the day Peters was in the same airport. The complaint also mentions Peters was a former employee at a business with links to the victim’s family. Officials would not comment further on the evidence indicated in the complaint.

The Australian government now has 60 days to file a formal request for extradition, according to a 1974 Extradition Treaty between the U.S. and Australia.

“I’m confident that he’s the first person to ever be extradited from the Western District of Kentucky to Australia. I’ve had someone deported to Australia but not extradited,” said defense attorney Scott Cox.

Cox said more research of the treaty is needed because extradition isn’t an issue the court regularly handles. Cox will review Peters’s options like whether he would be eligible for bond or if the extradition process could be waived. Judge Dave Whalin scheduled a court hearing for Oct. 14.

“He’ll be remained in custody for a period up to 60 days by which time the Australian government will make a formal application to the U.S. authorities for an extradition hearing,” said Luke Moore, a detective superintendent with the New South Wales Police Force.

It may take weeks for the Australian government to prepare its formal request, which will include evidence supporting the warrant, said Moore. Once the Australian government files the request, the U.S. Department of Justice will review the application and make its decision, he said.

“The extradition brief of evidence will contain all the evidence that we’ve obtained that we’ll be relying on for the charges in Australia,” said Moore.

Peters’s ex-wife attended the hearing. She’s not suspected of being involved with any of the charges and Cox asked the press and public to respect her privacy.

Click here to see a copy of the complaint filed against Peters in the Western District Court of Kentucky.

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