Australia prosecutors to pursue 12 charges against Jayant Patel
Melbourne: Australian prosecutors on Friday said they would pursue 12 outstanding criminal charges, including two of manslaughter, against Indian-origin surgeon Jayant Patel, days after a court found the American not guilty for the death of an elderly patient.
On Wednesday, a Supreme Court jury found 62-year-old Patel not guilty of the manslaughter of patient Mervyn Morris, who died on June 14, 2003, three weeks after the doctor removed part of his bowel to treat rectal bleeding.
It was the second time the India-born US citizen stood for the manslaughter trial of 75-year-old Morris. He was convicted of killing Morris and two other patients in June 2010.
Prosecutor Michael Byrne today confirmed a trial relating to the alleged grievous bodily harm of patient Ian Vowles would proceed first.
"The Crown intends to proceed with all charges subject to the receipt of submissions to be considered," Byrne told judge Glenn Martin in the Supreme Court today.
The former Bundaberg surgeon's lawyers have indicated they'll make a formal submission to have the charges dropped.
The Director of Public Prosecutions Tony Moynihan had been under pressure to give up the costly pursuit of Patel, after Wednesday's jury verdict, the Australian reported.
Patel is alleged to have wrongly removed Vowles' bowel in 2004.
Outside court, Patel's lawyer Ken Fleming said he was disappointed but would make a submission to the Director of Public Prosecutions that there was no point to proceed with the charges.
The Vowles matter will be mentioned on April 19.
Patel is also facing charges of manslaughter over the deaths of patients Gerry Kemps and James Phillips.
He is charged with the grievous bodily harm of Darcy Russell Blight, who has since died, and also seven fraud and one attempted fraud charge.
Vowles is the only surviving subject of the criminal charges.
Patel's bail conditions were also relaxed, with his surety reduced from USD 12,000 to USD 10,000. It's understood the number of times he has to report to the Fortitude Valley Police Station will also be reduced. Previously, he had to report three times a week.