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Comment from this web site - Jayant Patel may be  re-retried.  Hopefully he won't get off scot free and hopefully Kaiser Permanente will not rehire him in the United States.  

For historical purposes this article has been mirrored her from:

Freed Patel awaits decision on new trial

Former Queensland surgeon Jayant Patel has been released from prison after he was granted bail ahead of an
expected retrial.

The High Court yesterday quashed the convictions of the man nicknamed Doctor Death by the Australian media.

Dr Patel was convicted in 2010 of three counts of manslaughter and one count of grievous bodily harm over operations
at the Bundaberg Hospital, where he worked as a surgeon between 2003 and 2005.

But the High Court yesterday ruled that a miscarriage of justice had occurred on the 43rd day of Patel's 58-day trial,
when the "prosecution radically changed its case in a way that rendered irrelevant much of the evidence that had been
admitted".

The court ordered Dr Patel’s convictions and seven-year jail sentence be set aside.

It will be up to Queensland Director of Public Prosecutions Tony Moynihan whether to embark on a new trial. A
spokesperson for Mr Moynihan yesterday said he wanted to carefully consider the judgment of the High Court before
making any decision.

In a bail hearing before Justice Martin Daubney at the Supreme Court, the DPP did not oppose bail.

Dr Patel's defence team argued the bail conditions were "exactly the same" as the conditions he faced while on trial
in 2010, and that the $20,000 surety lodged at that time remained in place.

Under his bail conditions, Dr Patel will have to report to police three times a week, must not contact any witnesses,
 cannot leave Queensland without consent and cannot leave Australia.

Dr Patel's passport remains in the possession of justice authorities.

Speaking outside court, Defence lawyer Arun Raniga said Dr Patel had heard about the High Court verdict while
he was watching television in jail.

Mr Raniga said he had had a short conversation with Dr Patel since the decision was handed down.

‘‘He was emotional at the news,’’ he said.

Mr Raniga said he had not yet been told whether Queensland authorities would pursue a retrial, but he was confident
of his client’s chances if that were to occur.

‘‘We are confident [but] that’s a long way down the track,’’ he said.

Mr Raniga described as ‘‘unfortunate’’ the prospect of Bundaberg Hospital patients having to go through the trial again.

He said Dr Patel’s wife lived in the United States and he had no family in Brisbane.

Indian-born and US-trained Dr Patel, 62, had pleaded not guilty in 2010 to the manslaughter of James Phillips, 46,
Gerry Kemps, 77, and Mervyn Morris, 75, who died following surgery performed by him.

He had also pleaded not guilty to the grievous bodily harm of Ian Vowles, whose bowel he removed in October 2004.

Reviewing the original trial, the High Court bench found that the Crown case against the surgeon originally focused
on Dr Patel's surgical skills and post-operative care, alleging he had been "grossly negligent in all aspects of his
treatment of the patients".

However on the 43rd day of the trial, the High Court found, prosecutors changed the scope of their case, narrowing
the focus to “whether the surgical procedure in each case should have been undertaken”.

This occurred after it became apparent that the surgeries "had in fact been performed competently enough", the
High Court ruled.

It ruled that evidence the prosecution had introduced about the surgeries and post-operative care before it
changed its case was therefore no longer relevant and had been prejudicial to Dr Patel.

At the time, trial judge Justice John Byrne told the jury: "It is critical to appreciate that this trial is not about botched
surgery. Instead, it is about surgery performed competently enough. There may have been an imperfection or
two in some of the procedures. If so, the mistakes did not, it seems, adversely affect patients.

"It is not how the [appellant] performed surgery that matters in these four cases.

"What matters is his judgment in deciding to commend the surgery to a patient and, having obtained patient's
consent, in taking the patient to theatre to perform it."

However, the High Court ruled the "prejudicial effect on the jury was not overcome” and “a substantial miscarriage
of justice occurred".

Dr Patel was extradited to Queensland from Oregon in 2008, after he was allegedly linked to 17 patient deaths.

He faced manslaughter charges relating to three of them: oesophagectomies on both Mr Kemps and Mr Phillips,
and a major colon operation on Mr Morris.

After being convicted in 2010, Dr Patel immediately appealed to the Court of Appeal of the Queensland Supreme
Court on the grounds a miscarriage of justice had resulted from the change in the prosecution case, an appeal he lost.

That judgment was yesterday overruled, along with the original guilty verdicts.

- Amy Remeikis, Daniel Hurst and Cameron Atfield