Former Bundaberg doctor Jayant Patel.
Former Bundaberg doctor Jayant Patel. Dave Hunt

Potential jurors for Patel trial allowed to be polled

POTENTIAL jurors faced with trying former Bundaberg doctor Jayant Patel will be polled.

Supreme Court Justice Henry Fryberg authorised an application this afternoon to allow potential jurors to be questioned.

The rare move follows concerns raised by Patel's legal team about the impact of widespread publicity on a potential jury pool.

Justice Fryberg said prospective jurors would most probably be given a questionnaire to fill out in the jury room.

Legal counsel may also be able to question jurors before a judge makes the final decision on whether the person can sit on the jury panel.

Patel's barrister Kenneth Fleming told the court this afternoon the biggest concern was the pre-trial publicity.

He said there was also concern over the broad and comprehensive material to be presented in the trial.

Justice Fryberg remarked the material before him indicated conclusively authorisation should be given to have potential jurors polled.

Patel is scheduled to go to trial on Wednesday.