Indian origin surgeon to stand trial in Australia

Sydney, April 26 (IANS) An Indian origin former surgeon in an Australian hospital will stand trial in September for causing grievous bodily harm to a patient.

Jayant Patel, who worked in the Bundaberg Base Hospital in the Australian state of Queensland, has been charged with causing grievous bodily harm during a colon surgery of a 65-year-old patient, Ian Rodney Vowels, in 2004.

Patel was then the director of surgery at the hospital.

Crown prosecutor Todd Fuller asked the Brisbane Supreme Court Friday that the trial should be listed in August or September this year with a time-frame of three weeks, the Courier Mail reported.

But Ken Fleming, appearing for Patel, contended that several matters would need to be resolved before the trial started and said Patel would seek to poll a prospective jury panel.

Justice Glenn Martin, who was hearing the case, proposed that the trial be listed in the week commencing Sep 23 before Justice Jean Dalton, adding that it should be listed for 10-15 days.

Patel, who was born in Jamnagar in Gujarat, had a controversial tenure at the hospital from 2003 to early 2005, during which over 80 deaths were linked to him and 30 patients died in his care.

After that he left for Portland, Oregon, in the US.

He was, however, extradited to Australia in 2008 to face trial.

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