Australian prosecutors have dropped manslaughter charges against an American surgeon following a protracted legal wrangle.

Prosecutor Peter Davis told the Queensland State District Court in Brisbane on Friday that criminal negligence charges against Indian-born U.S. citizen Jayant Patel have been dropped in the interests of justice.

But Dr. Patel pleaded guilty in the same court on Friday to four fraud charges stemming from his medical registration and employment as chief surgeon at Bundaberg Base Hospital from 2003 to 2005.

The 63-year-old will be sentenced on these charges next week.

With credit for more than two years already served in prison, Dr. Patel could soon be sent home to the United States without spending any more time in custody.

More In: World | International | News