The Legal Department has launched an inquiry following the collapse of a third trial in a week amid allegations of mistakes by prosecutors. A rape case was halted yesterday when defence barristers protested that the jury had been misdirected on the law and given prejudicial information. Deputy Judge Pang Kin-kee ordered that the jury be discharged after Peter Lavac and Edward Laskey argued it would be unfair for the trial to continue. They said prosecutor Joseph To had given the jury the wrong interpretation of the law and had provided details of prejudicial evidence when opening the case. The trial, in which four men deny rape, is expected to begin today with a new jury. It is the second time in successive days that jury trials have collapsed after claims that the prosecution revealed prejudicial evidence to the jury. On Tuesday a murder trial was halted after prosecutor William Lam was accused of introducing 'highly prejudicial' material in his opening remarks. An arson trial was stopped last Thursday when a judge accused the prosecutor of ambushing the defence once too often. Patty Lee was also accused by the defence of acting in a highly dangerous and irresponsible way by bringing prejudicial identification evidence into the case. A Legal Department spokesman said: 'We shall be reviewing the statements that were made in court by the prosecution counsel in the cases to ascertain why the juries were discharged. 'Counsel have been advised and are aware that they should not do anything in court that might lead to the discharging of the jury,' he said. The series of abandoned trials has caused considerable concern among lawyers over the amount of public money wasted and the loss of valuable court time. On Monday a blunder by Judiciary staff led to a murder trial being adjourned by a furious judge because potential jurors had mistakenly been sent home. The Judiciary is reviewing internal procedures to prevent similar problems in the future.