Patel appeal decision expected soon

A HIGH Court appeal against former Bundaberg surgeon Jayant Patel's manslaughter convictions should wrap up in an hour.

The five justices of the High Court are then expected to reserve their decision in the case until a later dater.

Patel was sentenced to seven years' jail after a Supreme Court jury found him guilty in 2010 of the manslaughter of three patients he operated on and causing grievous bodily harm to another.

The deaths occurred while he was working at Bundaberg Hospital between 2003 and 2005.

Patel failed in the Court of Appeal, but the High Court granted special leave in February to hear the case.

Barrister Liam Kelly, for Patel, argued on Wednesday the convictions should be quashed because the case was tried under the wrong section of Queensland's Criminal Code and there had been many errors during the trial.

But Solicitor-General Walter Sofronoff, for the Crown, told the High Court today (Thur) the suggestions of unfairness were not founded.

He said the Crown case was not confusing as Patel's legal team had argued.

Mr Sofronoff said the Crown might have expressed its stance differently later in the trial, but "the substance has not altered".

"The case was always that the surgery should not have been performed," he said.

Outside court whistleblower Toni Hoffman said the case had brought back many memories.

She said she hoped the testimonies of so many staff and families would not be in vain.

Ms Hoffman said she was disappointed the High Court was dealing so much with intricacies of the law instead of the stories of the people who lost their lives.

Topics:  bundaberg hospital jayant patel

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