Australia's highest court on Friday threw out the conviction of an American surgeon accused of the manslaughter of three patients and ordered him to stand trial again, after ruling that conduct by prosecutors had led to a miscarriage of justice.
Jayant Patel, an Indian-born U.S. citizen, was sentenced to seven years in prison in 2010 after being convicted of three counts of manslaughter and one count of causing grievous bodily harm. The accusations against him related to his work as chief surgeon at a public hospital in Queensland state between 2003 and 2005.
During the trial, prosecutors accused Patel of misdiagnosing patients, using sloppy, antiquated surgical techniques and performing surgeries he'd been banned from undertaking in the U.S. Patel pleaded not guilty.
After his conviction, Patel's lawyers appealed, arguing that prosecutors radically and unfairly changed tactics during the final stages of the trial.
Patel's conviction came more than 25 years after concerns were first raised in the U.S. about his competency as a surgeon. When colleagues and patients began sounding the alarm about his alleged behavior in Australia, he left the country and returned to the U.S. The FBI arrested him in Portland, Oregon, in 2008 and he was extradited to Australia.