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Egypt Ruling Party MP Detained Over 'blood Scandal'

by VR Sreeraman on September 9, 2007 at 2:37 PM
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Egypt Ruling Party MP Detained Over 'blood Scandal'

An Egyptian court on Saturday ordered the detention of a ruling party MP whose company sold the health ministry faulty blood bags, causing widespread panic and a severe drop in blood donations.

Judge Ahmed Ezzat al-Ashmawi ordered the detention of MP Hani Surur and six others including his sister -- all are currently on trial for fraud and profiteering-- until the next court session on November 11.

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In January, a health ministry employee publicly accused Surur, a member of President Hosni Mubarak's ruling party, of fraud after his company Hayedelena for Advanced Medical Industries Company (HAMIC) -- the health ministry's only blood bag supplier -- sold the ministry tens of thousands of faulty blood bags.

The press reported heavily on the the "Blood bags scandal", leading to a product recall.

The exact nature of the defect varied wildly, but a mass panic ensued over the "contaminated" blood bags leading to a 70 percent drop in blood donations, the health ministry said at the time.

Surur had his parliamentary immunity lifted and in June he was referred to a criminal court.

Source: AFP
SRM/J
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