The seven year-long trial of Indian-origin surgeon Jayant Patel, accused of manslaughter of several patients in Australia, has cost the country $3.5 million.
All charges of criminal medical negligence against 63-year-old Dr. Patel, an Indian-born U.S. 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 showed that the government had spent 3,508,792 Australian dollars to pursue the range of charges against Dr. Patel from July 2006 until June 30, 2013, the Brisbane Times reported.
The expenditure includes $40,875 in living expenses, $54,416 on hotel accommodation, $22,417.63 in subsistence allowances, $1,606.94 on phone calls, $3,510.75 on electricity, $2,327.20 in dental and medical expenses, $162.74 for passport, and $2,534,821 in judicial staff expenses. The jury expenses in 2013 were $64,936 and $130,612 in 2010.
Dr. 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 Dr. Patel had already spent in jail, the strength of Dr. Patel’s defence and the cost of litigation, more than $ 3 million, as factors in 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.
Dr. Patel would be sentenced in the District Court next week.
In the 10 years since Dr. 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 that he killed and maimed patients.
Keywords: Jayant Patel trial