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Jayant Patel loses bid on manslaughter charge

Last Updated: Thursday, December 20, 2012 - 12:50

Melbourne: Indian-origin surgeon Jayant Patel on Thursday has lost his bid to escape trial over the death of an elderly patient after an Australian court rejected his request to have a manslaughter charge put on hold indefinitely.

According to media reports here today, the Supreme Court in Brisbane today dismissed Patel`s plea in which he had sought a permanent stay of proceedings on a manslaughter charge for the death of 75-year-old patient Mervyn Morris.

The court also dismissed elements of the Crown`s case, which will prompt more legal argument before a new trial can begin. Patel, 62, will be retried for the manslaughter of Morris in February.

Patel had performed surgery on Morris after allegedly incorrectly diagnosing him with diverticulosis in 2003. Morris died three weeks later.

Supreme Court Justice George Fryberg also ordered the Crown to serve fresh particulars of the case to the court and handed down a scathing judgement, labelling them in their current form "incomplete and embarrassing".

"The urgent need is for this judgement to be delivered so that work may start on revising the particulars," he said in the written judgement.

He said the particulars of the Crown case were supposed to inform the opponent and the trial judge of the detail it would be relying on but in their current form, the particulars were deficient.

"There is a clear need for the prosecution to identify precisely what its case is, to work out which of its allegations stand along (if any) and which act in conjunction; and then to determine the consequences of each combination separately," he said.

"From what I have seen and been told this is not an impossible task in the present case."
The matter will come before the court for review on January 11.


First Published: Thursday, December 20, 2012 - 12:50

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