Australia retrial for US surgeon Jayant Patel

Jayant Patel arrives at the Supreme Court (26 June) Mr Patel was convicted of the charges in 2010 and sentenced to jail

Related Stories

Australia's high court has granted a retrial for US doctor Jayant Patel, who was jailed in 2010 for manslaughter.

The court ruled that a miscarriage of justice took place during the trial of the Indian-born US citizen and quashed his convictions.

He was convicted of the manslaughter of three patients who died after he operated on them at a Queensland hospital where he worked from 2003-05.

Dubbed ''Doctor Death'' by local media, he had been jailed for seven years.

Mr Patel was arrested in the US in 2008 and extradited to Australia to stand trial.

'Prejudicial effect'

The high court found that a miscarriage of justice occurred when the prosecution ''radically changed its case'' on the 43rd day of Mr Patel's 58-day trial.

Until then prosecutors had worked to establish a case that Mr Patel "had been grossly negligent in all aspects of his treatment of the patients".

But, said the judgement, as the trial proceeded it became clear that the operations had been performed "competently enough'' - at which point the prosecution then focused its case on Mr Patel's decision to perform the operations.

"Much of the evidence about the surgery and post-operative care was prejudicial to the appellant but no longer relevant on the prosecution's revised case," it said.

"The prejudicial effect on the jury was not overcome," it said, leading to a miscarriage of justice.

The court also ordered that Mr Patel's additional conviction for grievous bodily harm against a fourth patient be set aside.

Mr Patel had pleaded not guilty to the manslaughter of Gerry Kemps, James Phillips, and Mervyn Morris, and causing grievous bodily harm to Ian Vowles.

After his conviction, Mr Patel appealed to the Queensland court of appeal but lost.

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

More Asia stories


Features & Analysis

Elsewhere on the BBC

  • Audi R8Need for speed

    Audi unveils its fastest production car ever - ahead of its Geneva debut


  • A robot holding a table legClick Watch

    The robots who build flat-pack furniture - teaching machines to work collaboratively

Try our new site and tell us what you think. Learn more
Take me there

Copyright © 2015 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.