Dutch 'horror dentist' Mark van Nierop can be extradited to France, says court

THE HAGUE (AFP) - A rogue Dutch dentist suspected of mutilating dozens of French patients can be extradited to France to stand trial, an Amsterdam court ruled on Friday.

"A judge has ruled that the Dutch dentist suspected of aggravated assault and fraud may be extradited to France," the Amsterdam regional court said in a statement.

Dubbed the "horror dentist" by the Dutch press, Mark van Nierop was detained in Canada last month before being flown back to his native Netherlands where he was arrested under a Paris-issued international warrant.

Van Nierop has challenged the extradition, saying he suffered from gender identity issues and had suicidal tendencies which could only be treated in the Netherlands.

The Amsterdam court ruled that Van Nierop's extradition was subject to an assurance that he'll receive the same psychiatric treatment and that he'll be detained in a psychiatric care facility.

"Should he be convicted in France he may be able to serve his sentence in the Netherlands," the court added.

Police are also investigating Van Nierop's claims to have killed his wife in 2006, two years before he was persuaded to move to the remote rural area of Chateau-Chinon in central France.

There he was initially welcomed by locals who were sorely lacking in medical services.

But concerns soon started to mount as patients reported broken jaws, recurrent abscesses, septicaemia and healthy teeth being pulled out, French media reported.

Van Nierop has also been charged with fraud over claims he tried to rip off customers.

A group of 120 French victims formed a collective to press charges, and a criminal investigation was opened in May 2013.

But Van Nierop fled in December, forcing French authorities to seek an international warrant for his arrest.

He was finally detained in the small town of Nackawic in the Canadian province of New Brunswick.

Unconfirmed reports in Canadian media said Van Nierop tried to commit suicide by slitting his throat at the time of his arrest.

According to Dutch media, he had already come under investigation at home over his working practices before resettling in France.