Extradition order issued for Toyah Cordingley murder suspect
AN EXTRADITION order has been issued to India for the man accused of murdering Toyah Cordingley on a Far North beach more than two years ago.
Toyah, 24, was killed at Wangetti Beach in October 2018 after taking her dog for a walk, with her father Troy Cordingley discovering her remains the following day.
Accused killer, nurse Rajwinder Singh, is believed to have left his wife, child and job in Cairns to flee to India on the day of Toyah's death.
Ms Cordingley's family has spearheaded an enormous community campaign to have the murder suspect extradited since his identity became known.
Leichhardt MP Warren Entsch said an extradition order had finally been issued with Attorney-General Christian Porter working closely with Queensland Police to prepare a brief of evidence.
He said the process took so long because even a minor incorrect detail could cause an extradition order to be thrown out entirely under Indian law.
Authorities only have one chance - and any small clerical error could jeopardise the whole process.
"The Attorney-General has signed off on the extradition order but the warrant has to come from India," Mr Entsch said.
"We can't do that as he is in a foreign country.
"We've got an extradition order agreement with India but a very high level of evidence is required - you've almost got to prosecute the case to have a change of getting it accepted by India.
"That's why it has taken so long.
"It has been back and forth between Queensland Police and the Attorney-General because you generally only get one whack of this."
The Cairns Post understands the order was signed off on Thursday night.
The order does not mean Mr Singh is guilty, nor that the Indian Government must immediately send him back to Australia to face the courts.
It is unknown whether Indian authorities have traced Mr Singh's location.
Extradition processes can take years if accused parties mount legal challenges.
However, Mr Entsch said this was a critical step to achieving justice for Toyah.
"It has been very frustrating and I really feel for that family," he said.
"But as I said today to Vanessa, Toyah's mum, we'd love to have been quicker but we have to be thorough.
"From my perspective and I think for the broader Cairns community, we all see Toyah as our daughter.
"We are all very keen to make sure we get one go at it and we get it right and bring a perpetrator to justice.
"So that not only gives some closure to the family, but also makes sure this individual doesn't do it again."
Toyah's mum Vanessa Cordingley has mostly shied away from cameras but is set to feature on a national TV program on Saturday.
She has already appeared in promotional material for the interview, urging politicians to bring her daughter's accused killer to trial.
"She was just a free spirit, a beautiful, happy girl," she said.
"She knew she was in danger and she tried to fight.
"If it was a politician's daughter, they would have this person and they would have justice."
Assistant Minister to the Attorney-General Senator Amanda Stoker confirmed the order had been issued.
"Extradition requests vary considerably in complexity and can depend on a number of factors including the criminal offences, the criminal conduct underlying those offences and the volume of the documentation required to make a valid extradition request to another country, as well as the relevant country's own legal processes," she said.
"Generally the Australian Government does not comment on individual steps along the extradition process in an individual matter.
"However, given the intense community and media interest in this matter, I am publicly confirming that a formal extradition request has been approved by me, as Assistant Minister to the Attorney-General.
"The next step in the extradition process is to formally lodge the request with India.
"Whilst I appreciate the ongoing focus on this case, it is important that extradition processes which are now in train are able to proceed through the proper, legal process."
Originally published as Extradition order issued for Toyah Cordingley murder suspect