The manslaughter trial of former Indian-origin surgeon Dr. Jayant Patel a.k.a. "Dr. Death" will be telecast live to Bundaberg in what is a first in Australia's legal history.
Dr Patel, a former surgeon at Bundaberg Base Hospital, will face a jury trial on three manslaughter and two grievous bodily harm charges from March 22 next year, The Courier Mail reports.
AdvertisementThe Crown is expected to call more than 150 witnesses at the trial, which will last 10 to 12 weeks.
A mention hearing in the Supreme Court in Brisbane today said there would be major efforts made to help all interested members of the public and media follow the trial.
Justice John Byrne said there would be three remote locations provided for the telecast.
In each of these locations a televison monitor system would receive a direct feed of the court room activities.
Justice Byrne said the first remote area would cater for members of the public, the second for the media and a third would be at the Bundaberg courthouse also for the public.
Bundaberg is central to the case and the trial will be followed closely in that area.
Patel is charged with the manslaughter of James Phillips, Mervyn Morris and Gerardus Kemps. He also faces grievous bodily harm charges over surgery on Darcy Blight and Ian Vowles. He also faces fraud charges in that he failed to tell the truth about his history in the US when gaining clearance to work in Australia and in his registration.
Patel is alleged to have committed the offences when working as a surgeon at the Bundaberg Base Hospital on various dates between 2003 and 2005.
In May, he was committed to stand trial on all 13 counts but at a later Supreme Court hearing it was agreed the fraud charges would be heard in a separate trial to the manslaughter and grievous bodily harm charges.