US doctor’s conviction overturned

SYDNEY — Australia’s highest court on Friday threw out the conviction of an American surgeon accused of the manslaughter of three patients and ordered him to stand trial again, after ruling that conduct by prosecutors had led to a miscarriage of justice.

Jayant Patel was sentenced to seven years in prison in 2010 after being convicted of three counts of manslaughter and one count of causing grievous bodily harm. The accusations related to his work as chief surgeon at a public hospital in Queensland state between 2003 and 2005.


During the trial, prosecutors accused Patel of misdiagnosing patients, using sloppy, antiquated surgical techniques, and performing surgeries he had been banned from undertaking in the United States.

Patel pleaded not guilty, and his lawyers’ appeal of the conviction argued that prosecutors unfairly changed tactics late in the trial.

Patel’s conviction came more than 25 years after concerns were first raised in the United States about his competency as a surgeon.

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