Indian-origin surgeon Jayant Patel speaks out

Days after a High Court quashed his conviction on three counts of manslaughter, Indian-origin surgeon Jayant Patel praised the Australian justice system and sympathised with his former patients.

Dr Patel, 62, was released from jail on Friday night after the High Court unanimously overturned his conviction on three counts of manslaughter and one count of unlawful grievous bodily harm, by ruling his trial a mistrial. In a TV interview aired yesterday, Patel who was dubbed as 'Dr Death' by Australian media, expressed his sympathy to the families of his patients while declaring he would remain in Australia "as long as it takes" to clear his name.

"I want to offer my sincere condolences and sympathy to my former patients and their families affected by these events," Patel said after his release from the jail.

"It has always been my belief and continues to be my belief that I am innocent of the charges against me. But that does not mean that I don't understand the pain and suffering of others," he said.

"I believe that I have always done my best for my patients and their family, despite the attack on my character at the trial and much adverse publicity about me," he said.

He mentioned that the last four years of which two years he spent in prison had been "traumatic".

"In that trial, allegations were made not only about my competence as a doctor but also going to the root of my character and my decency as a human being," he said.

"The trauma was not mine alone. I'm acutely aware that the trial and the events surrounding it and the appeals are also very painful for those involved in the events concerned."

Patel was found guilty by a Supreme Court jury in Brisbane on June 29, 2010, of the manslaughter involving Gerry Kemps, 77, James Phillips, 46, and Mervyn Morris, 75, as well as causing grievous bodily harm to Ian Rodney Vowles, now 65.

Meanwhile, his former patients and their supporters have strongly reacted with anger on his TV appearance.

The 65-year old Ian Vowles who had a section of his bowel removed by Patel said he was not convinced by Patel's offer of condolences.

"He went on a real lot about nothing. He absolutely said virtually nothing at all," he said.The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) is considering whether to hold another trial.

Patel is due to appear in the Supreme Court on Friday. 

Comments (+)