A driver who fled to India after a fatal crash in Melbourne almost a decade ago has launched a bizarre last ditch bid to avoid extradition back to Australia.
Puneet Puneet, 28, was allegedly drunk and speeding when he mowed down and killed 19-year-old nursing student Dean Hofstee in 2008.
After spending years on the run, Puneet has now turned to his Indian-Australian friends to help him fight extradition by supporting his claims that Australia is racist.
‘Indians are not safe in Australia and every case against India has some racial point into it,’ Jayant Dagore told a New Delhi court, the Herald Sun reported.
Puneet Puneet (right), 28, was allegedly drunk and speeding when he mowed down and killed 19-year-old nursing student Dean Hofstee (left) in 2008.
‘Puneet should be free… India should help Puneet, not Australia.’
He added: ‘Australians are biased towards Indians so I request Indian authorities to take care of its nationals.’
At the time of the crash, police allege Puneet was driving at 148km per hour – more than double the legal limit in the area – while under the influence of alcohol.
He was charged with culpable driving and negligently causing serious injury, then bailed on strict conditions, including the surrender of his passport.
At the time of the crash, police allege Puneet (pictured wearing a facemask) was driving at 148km per hour
He admitted he was guilty, but fled Australia using a fellow Indian’s passport in 2009.
Australian police offered a $100,000 reward in 2012 for information leading to his arrest.
While hit-and-run incidents carry a 20 year jail term in Australia, Indian law would only see him incarcerated for about two years.
Dean Hofstee (pictured) tragically died in the 2008 hit-and-run incident in Melbourne
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