Uproar as Patel turns to Legal Aid

FORMER patients of disgraced surgeon Jayant Patel have been left outraged after it was revealed the former Bundaberg Hospital surgeon has applied to Legal Aid Queensland to fund his appeal.

Former patient Doris Hillier said she was “very frustrated” by the application.

“It has cost the taxpayers millions of dollars for his wrongdoings already, why should we pay more,” Mrs Hillier said.

“He’s applying for money which should have gone to pensioners or other people in need of Legal Aid. I’m very disappointed in the justice system.”

Another former patient, George Pauza, said he thought it would be unfair if Patel was granted Legal Aid.

“I know people who have paid taxes all their lives and have asked for assistance and been knocked back,” he said.

Patel, 60, was convicted in the Queensland Supreme Court earlier this year over the manslaughter of three patients and the grievous bodily harm of a fourth man whose healthy bowel he removed.

The charges relate to his time at Bundaberg Base Hospital between 2003 and 2005.

Patel applied for the funding to finance his appeal as he cannot afford to continue to pay his legal team.

Before Court of Appeal President Margaret McMurdo yesterday, Patel’s solicitor Arun Raniga confirmed Patel’s financial problems had not been resolved and he had applied to Legal Aid Queensland (LAQ) to fund the appeal.

Mark Briggs of LAQ told the court further information about Patel’s wife’s financial affairs would be required before they could make a decision on whether or not to approve funding.

The matter will be mentioned in court on November 12.



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