THE first retrial against former Bundaberg surgeon Jayant Patel has been pushed back to February.

His legal team told Brisbane Supreme Court they could not yet make an application for a judge-only trial because they had not retained defence counsel.

Arun Raniga said he was about two weeks away from finalising counsel and they would then make a joint decision on whether to make an application.

The court heard the first trial would be for the alleged manslaughter of Mervyn Morris, 75, who died on June 14, 2003, which was three weeks after Patel removed part of his bowel.

Justice Glenn Martin said preparing for the four new trials, ordered after the High Court last month quashed Patel's earlier convictions, should not take too long.

He said the High Court had been clear about how the Crown needed to run its case.

The first trial has been shifted from November to February 4 next year.



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