Saturday 23 November 2019

Ex-deputy state pathologist abandons expert witness plans

Former Deputy State pathologist Dr Khalid Jaber
Former Deputy State pathologist Dr Khalid Jaber

Shane Phelan Public Affairs Editor

THE former deputy state pathologist, Dr Khalid Jaber, has abandoned plans to set himself up as an expert defence witness in Ireland and has instead returned to his native Saudi Arabia.

Dr Jaber (55) resigned last November following a disagreement with the state pathologist Professor Marie Cassidy over the circumstances surrounding the death of an alleged homicide victim.

Following his resignation he wrote to Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan and coroners around the country advising that he would be offering his services as a defence pathologist. However, the Irish Independent has learnt he has now abandoned these plans, eliminating the possibility of further clashes with his former boss.

Speaking to the Irish Independent from Saudi Arabia, Dr Jaber said he was "building a private consultancy advisory practice out here".

He said: "I am much happier here . . . I will find it impossible to return back to work in Ireland as long as the old and same conditions that have prevailed remain continually in the running."

Dr Jaber caused controversy last year after it emerged he had sent a series of letters to the Department of Justice, the Director of Public Prosecutions and the Royal College of Physicians criticising Prof Cassidy's qualifications.

Dr Jaber and Prof Cassidy also had differing opinions on the circumstances surrounding a suspected murder, which provoked considerable ill-feeling on Dr Jaber's side. However, the Department of Justice gave its full backing to Prof Cassidy.

Dr Jaber was accused by secretary general Brian Purcell of undermining the credibility and standing of the Office of the State Pathologist.

The Irish Independent has also learned Dr Jaber was critical of the department's handling of the abandoned plan to develop a joint facility for the Office of the State Pathologist and the Dublin City Coroner in Marino.

After spending €3.3m – almost €2m of which went on consultants – the project was shelved.

The matter is set to be examined by the Dail's Public Accounts Committee next week.

Irish Independent

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