Australia says no to compensation for Jayant Patel

Australia says no to compensation for Jayant Patel

Indian-origin surgeon Jayant Patel, convicted for the death of an elderly patient in Australia and sentenced to two years in jail, will not get any compensation for the time he spent in prison.

The provincial government in Queensland today said it would not approve any compensation request by Patel, a US citizen, as it would be an "insult" to Queenslanders.

The 63-year-old surgeon was convicted of fraud last year and sentenced to two years in prison. But he walked free due to the time he had already spent in custody for earlier convictions that were subsequently overturned in the High Court.

Queensland Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie said he has been told that Patel may seek damages. "I have not received anything in writing to respect to that," Bleijie was quoted as saying by ABC Online.

"As I understand it, Patel has indicated that he will be writing to the Government wanting compensation. There will be no compensation, there will be no entertainment of the idea of compensation. It's an insult to Queenslanders, it's an insult to Bundaberg residents," he said.

Patel worked at Bundaberg Hospital, where he was employed as a director of surgery between April 2003 and April 2005.

Patel, dubbed 'Dr Death' escaped further jail time despite pleading guilty to four counts of fraud relating to his registration as a doctor in Queensland nearly 10 years ago.

He was charged and found guilty of the manslaughter of Gerry Kemps, 77, and James Phillips, 46, and Mervyn Morris, 75, and causing grievous bodily harm to Ian Rodney Vowles and Darcy Blight.

He spent two-and-a-half years behind bars before the High Court quashed his conviction and ordered retrials.

After Patel was found not guilty of criminal negligence during the first of the retrials in March this year, Queensland's Public Prosecutions decided not to pursue any further charges.

In November, Patel left for the US following a long legal battle. 

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