Melbourne, July 22 : Australian taxpayers will have to foot the bill for Indian born surgeon Jayant Patel's living costs while he is on bail, Queensland Liberal Leader Mark McArdle has said.
McArdle said he believed a trial could be two or three years away.
"This would never had happened if the Beattie-Bligh Government had not put him on a plane business class to fly to the United States," he said.
"I think people are going to be incensed, very upset and very angry and they can again lay the blame right at the foot of this Government for doing the wrong thing from day one," McArdle added.
McArdle said the costs of Dr Patel's accommodation and expenses should be audited so taxpayers could see their financial commitment to the Patel case.
"I'm concerned that other areas are now going to be denuded of funds because this Government has blown it from day one," news.com.au quoted him, as saying.
"I suspect (that) at the end of the day, the total costs of getting him back to Australia (and) the living expenses could cost in the area of 2-3 million dollars, if not more."
Queensland Attorney-General Kerry Shine today said that taxpayers would foot the bill for Dr Patel's rent and living expenses while he awaits trial.
Shine said the cost of the Patel case already totalled around 1.2 million dollars.
He said Dr Patel's costs would be met by the taxpayer via the Queensland police budget, as Dr Patel's sponsoring agency under the Commonwealth Migration Act.
Dr Patel was granted conditional bail on Monday while he awaits trial on 14 charges for manslaughter, grievous bodily harm and fraud, relating to his time at Bundaberg Base Hospital between 2003 and 2005.