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Jayant Patel`s trial costs Australians $3.6 million

PTI | Last Updated: Sunday, November 17, 2013 - 19:58

Melbourne: The seven year-long trial of Indian-origin surgeon Jayant Patel, accused of manslaughter of several patients in Australia, has cost the country a whopping 3.5 million dollars.

All charges of criminal medical negligence against 63-year-old Patel, an Indian-born US citizen, were dropped on Friday by the Supreme and District courts` in Brisbane.

Documents from the Queensland`s Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions show that the government has spent 3,508,792 Australian dollars to pursue the range of charges against Patel from July 2006 until June 30, 2013, the Brisbane Times reported.

The expenditure includes 40,875 dollars in living expenses, 54,416 dollars on hotel accommodation, 22,417.63 dollars in subsistence allowances, 1,606.94 dollars on phone calls, 3,510.75 dollars on electricity, 2,327.20 dollars in dental and medical expenses, 162.74 dollars for passport, and 2,534,821 dollars in judicial staff expenses.

The jury expenses in 2013 were 64,936 dollars and 130,612 dollars in 2010.

Patel was facing trial on?two charges of manslaughter, two of grievous bodily harm, an alternative charge of negligent acts causing harm, seven counts of fraud and one of attempted fraud.

The Director of Public Prosecutions cited the amount of time that had passed, the time Patel has already spent in jail, the strength of Patel`s defence and the cost of litigation, more than USD 3 million, as factors n his decision.

"In all the circumstances...I have decided that it is not in the public interest to continue the counts alleging criminal negligence against Jayant Patel," Director of Public Prosecutions Tony Moynihan said in a statement.

Earlier, he pleaded guilty to fraud for dishonestly working as a medical practitioner in Queensland, the only charges the Director of Public Prosecutions chose to pursue.

Patel will be sentenced in the District Court next week.

In the ten years since Patel began work as director of surgery at Bundaberg Base Hospital in Queensland, he has faced three trials and spent two-and-a-half years in jail over allegations he killed and maimed patients.

Patel, who was dubbed `Dr Death` by the media here, was sentenced to seven years in prison in 2010 after a jury convicted him of killing three patients and causing the grievous bodily harm to another.

However, he was released last year following a successful High Court appeal, and separate re-trials were ordered.

First Published: Sunday, November 17, 2013 - 19:58

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