Topics:  bundaberg hospital, court, jayant patel

Patel defence will renew publicity argument

FORMER Bundaberg surgeon Jayant Patel has launched his application for a permanent stay in the Supreme Court.

The application has been adjourned to a date to be fixed to allow the Crown to amend particulars in its case.

Patel's defence barrister, Kenneth Fleming, told the Brisbane court this morning he would be renewing the issue of pre-trial publicity surrounding his client's high-profile case as part of the application.

The court heard Patel's application for a judge-only trial on the basis widespread publicity had tainted the potential jury pool was knocked back yesterday.

But Mr Fleming said the defence would renew it's publicity argument.

Mr Fleming presented four books as evidence in court, including The Australian newspaper journalist Hedley Thomas' book Sick to Death.

"In our submission, that issue is alive," Mr Fleming said.

"They are evidence of the publicity in the community."

Mr Fleming said a simple search of the Internet would produce these books about Dr Patel.

But Justice George Fryberg said a bit of "effort" would have produced a affidavit from the book publishers detailing the books sales.

Crown Prosecutor Peter Davis argued the publicity issue should not be entertained.

The defence and the crown tediously went through particulars of the case, including the facts around Mervyn Morris' operation at Bundaberg Base Hospital in 2003.

Patel is scheduled to go to trial next year for Mr Morris alleged manslaughter.

Patel was in court this morning.

Justice Fryberg gave Mr Fleming a spray because Patel was sitting in the court dock when he was on bail.

Patel then moved to the bar table.

If the court grants Patel's application for a permanent stay, the case will be on hold indefinitely.


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