ROME | A fugitive American doctor accused of fraud and malpractice will probably be extradited to the United States in the next few days, Italian officials said Thursday.
Mark Weinberger was arrested last month near Italy's border with France as he hid on a snowy mountain, more than five years after he disappeared as allegations mounted concerning his medical practice in Indiana.
On Thursday, a court in Turin sent documentation to the U.S. State Department asking for officers to come to Italy and take charge of Weinberger, said Ernesto di Carlo, an official at the court.
The doctor didn't fight the U.S. extradition request and the Italian court approved it last month.
Weinberger remains in the prison ward of Turin's Molinette hospital, where he was taken after stabbing himself in the neck as he was taken into custody. His injuries were not life-threatening.
Weinberger, of Merrillville, Ind., was indicted by a federal grand jury in 2006 on 22 counts of fraud for allegedly scheming to bill insurance companies for procedures that were not needed or never performed.
In addition, Weinberger faces about 300 civil claims filed by patients, his Merrillville attorney James Hough has said.
He was discovered after a mountain guide tipped off authorities that he was in Val Ferret, living in a tent with high-tech mountain survival gear.
Police in the nearby town of Aosta, said Thursday they initially feared the man might be a terrorist.
"It was the first thought that came into our head, but it lasted only an hour," said Col. Guido Di Vita, of the Carabinieri paramilitary police. "We thought: what is this guy doing on the mountain? Is he a terrorist?"