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Fitness of ex-doc in Vegas hep C case questioned

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 8, 2013 at 4:14 pm •  Published: March 8, 2013

LAS VEGAS (AP) — A judge is calling for an independent medical expert to review the fitness for trial of a former Nevada physician facing murder and other charges stemming a 2007 hepatitis C outbreak at his Las Vegas clinics.

Clark County District Court Judge Valerie Adair says she doesn't want to postpone the April 22 trial of Dipak Desai (DEE'-pahk deh-SEYE') and a former employee.

Desai's attorney, Richard Wright, said Friday that Desai suffered another stroke Feb. 24, and can't assist in his own defense.

Wright on Thursday submitted a physician's report to the judge that says Desai is confused, disoriented and has speech and physical problems.

Prosecutor Michael Staudaher says it's not clear whether Desai is incapacitated or faking.

Staudaher has in the past accused Desai of "malingering" to avoid trial.