By: Shubham Ghosh
Rajwinder Singh, an Indian-origin man who has been accused of murdering a 24-year-old Australian woman Toyah Cordingley on a Queensland beach in 2018 has told a court in India that he wants to return Down Under as soon as possible to face trial.
According to an Australian Associated Press report, the 38-year-old swore in a “willingness statement” given to the magistrate of the court in Delhi that he wanted to formally waive his right to challenge extradition to Australia, the country he fled after the incident.
Singh’s decision avoided a legal battle that could have gone on for years, thanks to India’s overburdened judiciary, as per the report.
While being escorted to the court by police officers, Singh, who is an Australian citizen, said he had a “message for Australians”.
Accompanied by his parents at the hearing, Singh was quoted as saying, “I want to go back. It is the [Indian] judicial system that has been holding things up.”
He added that he did not kill the woman and that he wanted to “reveal all the details” to a court Down Under.
When he was asked the reason to flee Australia after allegedly killing Cordingley, Singh said he would explain everything later.
He claimed that there were two killers and as many victims.
According to the Australian police, Singh is the prime suspect in the murder and he was arrested by the Delhi Police in November.
The arrest came just weeks after the government of Queensland posted a record one million Australian dollar (£568,780) reward for information on Singh.
There has also been an extradition order against him since 2021.
The accused man had reportedly boarded a flight to India hours after the police found Cordingley’s body half-buried in sand dunes on Wangetti beach, north of Cairns, Queensland.
In Australia, Singh worked as a nurse and lived in Innisfail, and has a wife and three children in that country. Since his arrest, he has been kept in Delhi’s Tihar jail, south Asia’s largest prison.
Extradition proceedings in India could be long process but since Singh decided against contesting it, the case “is almost finished”, said public prosecutor Ajay Digpaul, the report added.