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US surgeon faces trial in Australia over patient deaths

An Indian-born surgeon extradited from the United States was committed for trial in Australia on Monday on charges of manslaughter over the deaths of three patients.

world Updated: Apr 20, 2009 08:13 IST

An Indian-born surgeon extradited from the United States was committed for trial in Australia on Monday on charges of manslaughter over the deaths of three patients.

Jayant Patel, 59, will also face 10 other charges, including causing grievous bodily harm, relating to his time as director of surgery in a Queensland state hospital between 2003 and 2005.

Asked whether he had anything to say at the end of a committal hearing in a Brisbane magistrates court, Patel replied: "No thank you, your honour."

He was not required to enter a plea.

The surgeon, who is a US citizen, is at the centre of a scandal which has brought procedures for recruitment of foreign doctors under intense scrutiny in Australia.

He was extradited from the US, where he had previously practised, in July. He will remain free on bail until his trial in the Supreme Court, which is expected next year.

The manslaughter charges relate to the deaths of three patients from surgery that prosecutors allege Patel either botched or was not qualified to carry out.