US & Canada

Australia deports 'honeymoon killer' Gabe Watson to US

Gabe and Tina Watson
Image caption Gabe Watson pleaded guilty last year to the manslaughter of his wife

An American man known as the "honeymoon killer" has been deported from Australia to the US.

Gabe Watson, 33, was jailed in Australia for the manslaughter of his wife while scuba diving during their honeymoon on the Great Barrier Reef.

Officials said Watson had arrived in Los Angeles accompanied by police.

Australia had delayed his deportation until it received a US guarantee that he would not face the death penalty if he were re-tried at home in Alabama.

Australia's Immigration Minister Chris Bowen said Watson had agreed to return voluntarily after being given that assurance by Alabama and US federal authorities.

Watson left Australia on Thursday accompanied by immigration officials and police officers, Mr Bowen said.

He is thought likely to face murder charges in Alabama and was expected to be handed over to Los Angeles police.

After his wife's death in 2003, Watson was initially charged with murder in Queensland.

It was alleged he turned off his new bride's air supply during a diving trip and held her underwater.

Watson pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of manslaughter in 2009 and completed an 18-month term in prison earlier this month.

His lawyer, Adrian Braithwaite, told the Associated Press news agency that his client was happy to return to the US.

"He's looking forward to returning home and successfully defending himself if there's a trial there," he said.

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