LAS VEGAS (AP) — A Nevada judge says defense attorneys can present one rebuttal witness at a competency hearing next month for the former physician-owner of a clinic at the center of a 2008 Las Vegas hepatitis outbreak.

The Las Vegas Sun reports that Clark County District Court Judge Kathleen Delaney ruled Tuesday that lawyers will have limited scope Jan. 27 to bolster their claim that 62-year-old Dipak Desai is incapacitated by strokes and heart ailments and can’t help in his defense.

State medical experts have deemed Desai fit for trial March 12.

Prosecutors accuse Desai of “malingering” to avoid criminal responsibility.

Desai and two former employees at his Las Vegas endoscopy clinic face multiple felony charges stemming from a hepatitis outbreak that officials say infected at least seven people.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)



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