What Toyah Cordingley’s accused killer allegedly told Indian cops about the day she died – as he prepares to face a Delhi court
- Indian authorities promise quick extradition of murder suspect Rajwinder Singh
- Singh is accused of killing 24-year-old Toyah Cordingley on Queensland beach
- Cordingley’s half-buried body was found by her dad at Wangetti Beach in 2018
- Shortly after Singh left his family before flying to India and hiding for four years
The Indian public prosecutor handling the case of a man accused of killing 24-year-old Australian Toyah Cordingley on a Queensland beach in 2018 says authorities will pursue extradition proceedings against him with ‘maximum speed’.
Delhi police arrested Rajwinder Singh, an Australian citizen of Indian origin, on the national capital’s outskirts last Friday after the Queensland government announced earlier this month a record $1 million reward for his capture.
Singh, who was remanded in judicial custody for five days, was due to appear in a Delhi magistrate’s court on Wednesday for a hearing on Australia’s bid to extradite him to stand trial for Cordingley’s murder.
‘It’s a heinous offence,’ Ajay Digpaul, the government’s prosecuting counsel, told AAP on Tuesday.
‘We will seek to ensure this case proceeds with maximum speed.’
Rajwinder Singh (pictured in 2018) fled to India two days after the stabbing death of Toyah Cordingley on a Queensland beach in 2018, leaving behind his wife and three kids
Australian police suspect Singh stabbed Cordingley to death on Wangetti Beach, north of Cairns, as she took a morning walk with her dog.
Singh boarded a flight to India, leaving his wife and three children, a day after Cordingley was reported missing.
Cordingley’s father found the body of his daughter, who worked in a pharmacy, half-buried in the sand.
The dog was tied up unharmed to a tree.
Toyah Cordingley (pictured) was 24 when she was found dead in a shallow grave at Wangetti Beach in October 2018
Local Indian media report Singh allegedly told Delhi police he got into an argument with Cordingley because her dog barked at him.
The prosecution is ‘very focused on this case,’ Mr Digpaul said.
But Singh ‘will have the right to appeal,’ he added.
Legal experts have raised concerns that Singh’s extradition process could drag on for years as India’s justice system is notoriously slow-moving with millions of pending cases.
Mr Singh (centre) pictured after he was detained by Delhi Police on Friday after adopting a beard and a turban as a disguise
Australia asked for Singh’s extradition to stand trial for murder in March 2021.
But Singh, who was clean-shaven when in Australia, grew a beard and donned a turban in India to disguise himself and constantly shifted locations to evade arrest.
After announcing the reward along with a WhatsApp contact number, Australian police said they got a number of tips from India on Singh’s whereabouts.
Delhi police said they arrested Singh using information from local investigators, Australian police and Interpol.
Police released images of Singh moments before he boarded a plane to India at Sydney International Airport
Mr Digpaul said ‘all the case documents and the extradition request have been filed with the court’ and the accused’s lawyers also now have the documents.
India approved Australia’s extradition request last month.
The prosecutor said Singh will hear the allegations that he ‘carried out an offence of murder’ in Australia and could take ‘some days’.
Singh’s counsel ‘will have the right to cross-examine,’ Mr Digpaul added.
Singh – who is being held in Tihar Jail, South Asia’s biggest prison – will have the right to appeal to the Delhi High Court if the magistrate rules against him.
‘We will make all efforts to ensure that the matter is concluded as quickly as possible,’ Mr Digpaul said.
An extradition request was lodged for Singh (pictured) in March last year. It was signed off by Indian authorities last month