A doctor and his partner have been found guilty of contempt of court for disclosing documents produced in a defamation case.
The doctor, Elie Khoury is suing Dr David Kirwan for damages, with his claim alleging Dr Kirwan sent defamatory emails to those in the Border medical community.
The Victorian Supreme Court heard Dr Koury had restrictions placed on his accreditation following an independent review undertaken for Ramsay Health, which runs the Albury Wodonga Private Hospital.
Those restrictions remained in place until at least last August.
The court heard Dr Khoury believed Dr Kirwan and Dr Jeremy Kolt were responsible for having his accreditation reviewed, and believed Dr Kolt had breached his obligations of confidentiality by leaking patient details to another doctor.
Dr Khoury sought emails from Dr Kolt, who is not a party to the defamation proceeding.
The court heard the emails, which were mainly between Dr Kolt and Dr Kirwan, discussed surgical incidents at Albury Wodonga Private Hospital which had resulted in death or injury.
"Many references were made to Khoury, using language capable of being thought to be disparaging and abrasive and critical of his conduct," Justice John Dixon said.
The emails discussed payments Khoury had received from Ramsay Health, which were referred to as "bribes".
When Dr Khoury received the subpoenaed emails, he said he read about a quarter of them but stopped as he couldn't stomach it.
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"Honestly, I was pretty angry," he said.
"I was really angry... I didn't form a view on anything except the vile nature of what was going on between two people [Kolt and Kirwan] that were professionals."
A trial has been set to hear the defamation claims.
But Dr Khoury and his partner Jessica Nowell have been found guilty of contempt of court after forwarding the emails.
Justice Dixon noted that passing on the emails had serious consequences for Dr Kolt, who received a notice to show why his accreditation with the private hospital shouldn't be cancelled.
The court heard there was an implied undertaking for parties not to disclose such documents.
The pair had argued the breach was accidental and unintended.
Submissions will be made about what, if any, penalties will be made, with the case to return on July 15.
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