Hidelina owner acquitted in blood case

Yesterday, the Court of Cassation exonerated Hani Sorour, the owner the pharmaceutical company Hidelina. Sorour had been accused of distributing of as many as 300,000 bags of contaminated blood to hospitals in Egypt. Sorour, who had fled the country, was sentenced to three years in absentia.

Defendants were absent from the court session, but their families cheered the court’s verdict.

A judicial source told Al-Masry Al-Youm that the Court of Cassation is legally permitted to consider the defendants’ appeal, and that the court did not commit any breach by issuing its verdict without holding an extra session to consider the appeal.

Bahaa Abu Shaqqa, the lawyer representing Sorour, said that the verdict conforms to amendments made to the law on appeals before the Court of Cassation.

Security sources, who asked not to be named, told Al-Masry Al-Youm that the all the defendants, including Sorour and his sister, Nivan, will be released as soon as the Interior Ministry receives a notification of the verdict. They added that they might even be free within a few hours.

A former MP and an NDP member, Sorour turned himself over to the court during the last session so that his appeal might be considered. His sister had surrendered six months earlier to the Sayyida Zeinab police department, saying that she wanted to serve her time in prison and then get on with her normal life.

The defense lawyers presented a number of blood bags, explaining to the judges what written on them. They stressed that the company cannot be found guilty for bad storage by the Ministry of Health, which led to the contamination. The defense argued that the criminal court had dismissed their request that the bags be checked by the National Organization for Drug Control and Research, the body assigned by president Mubarak.

Defense lawyers also claimed that the verdict is at odds with what was stated in the pleading petition. They explained that the verdict quoted heads of blood banks saying that the bags were full of deficiencies due to bad manufacturing, while during interrogations they stressed that the bags contained no defects and were all used up.

The defense also argued that the blood samples provided by Hidelina during the Ministry of Health’s tender were genuine company products, and were not acquired from other firms as alleged.

The lawyers said that the court should have summoned officials from the health ministry, since they had signed on the tender’s record. That, they believe, could have acquitted all the defendants.

Translated from the Arabic Edition.

Related Articles

Back to top button