Monday, November 29, 1999

`Dr. Death` Patel`s lawyer blasts media coverage as `plain-faced gossip`

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Brisbane, June 17 (ANI): Indian-origin surgeon Dr. Jayant Patel aka Dr. Death's lawyer has accused the media of "name-calling and plain-faced gossip in the name of sensationalism".Michael Byrne, addressing the jury directly for the first time in the Brisbane Supreme Court trial, warned them about the "frenzied media storm" which he said had swirled around the surgeon, and the perceived role he played at the Bundaberg Base Hospital, for several years.Byrne further urged the jury to put aside anything they had heard outside the courtroom, when they settled down to decide upon a verdict."It will not surprise you that there have been allegations, accusations, name-calling, plain-faced gossip, dressed up in the name of sensationalism as far as the media is concerned," The Australian quoted Byrne, as saying.He also warned the jury to critically look at the evidence of the witnesses who had given evidence during the 13 weeks of the trial.Patel has pleaded not guilty to the manslaughter of his patients Gerry Kemps, James Phillips and Mervyn Morris, and to causing grievous bodily harm to Ian Rodney Vowles on various dates between March 2003 and April 2005.The trial before Justice John Byrne continues. (ANI)

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