Patel to face committal hearing in February 2009

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Melbourne, Sep.1 : Indian-born surgeon Jayant Patel will face court for a committal hearing in February 2009, news.com.au reports.

Patel, 58, is facing 14 charges including manslaughter, grievous bodily harm and fraud, relating to his time as director of surgery at Bundaberg Base Hospital in southern Queensland between 2003 and 2005.

According to news.com.au, during a brief mention of the matter in the Brisbane Magistrates Court this morning, prosecutor David Meredith sought and was granted a three-week block for the committal hearing from February 9 to 27.

The court has set aside an additional two weeks in April to accommodate any overseas or interstate witnesses that cannot attend during the initial hearing.

Meredith said more than 120 witnesses may be called for examination.

Patel's defence team may be required to provide a list of required witnesses by December 1.

An order will be made in relation to this during the next review of the case on September 19.

He had been held in custody in his home city of Portland, Oregon, since March, and returned to Australia in July.

On his return to Australia, Patel was granted bail with residential and reporting conditions. He was not required to appear at today's hearing.

ANI

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