Patel retrial is 'about justice'

Jayant Patel.
Jayant Patel.

WEIGHING up the potential retrial of disgraced Bundaberg doctor Jayant Patel should be focused on securing justice not cost, the state's health minister believes.

Patel's conviction was quashed on Friday after the High Court found he had suffered a miscarriage of justice.

Mr Patel was released from jail shortly after and is believed to be staying in Brisbane.

The Director of Public Prosecutions is considering whether he will pursue a retrial, which could be longer and more costly than the first 58-day trial in 2010.

The first trial and two inquiries into his actions cost taxpayers about $9 million.

Despite the Newman Government monotonously reminding the public of Queensland's insurmountable debt, Queensland Health Minister Lawrence Springborg said cost was not a factor when it came to possibly retrying Patel.

"I think there is a significant chapter in the history of Queensland with a question mark over it and no effective closure," he said.

"It's a matter of making sure justice is gained - that is the most important thing. That is not an expense arguable in my mind.

"It is about justice being done if there is a case that can be prosecuted."

Mr Springborg said the former Attorney-General Cameron Dick had questions to answer over why the trial was "bungled."

"...and whether he was confident and comfortable with regards to the changing of the charges during the trial as well," he said.

"I think a lot of people want to be asking questions about how the prosecution was won and how it got to this situation now (there) seems to be some real concerns raised by the High Court about miscarriages of justice," he said.

"Someone made some decision that contributed to that along the way.

"A lot of Australians and those people most affected by Dr Patel's alleged actions would be asking those questions today.

"Those questions should be answered."

Topics:  high court jayant patel lawrence springborg retrial

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