CAIRO: The Cairo Court of Appeals annulled a previous Criminal Court ruling exonerating those accused in the infamous Hidelina defective blood bags case, and ordered a retrial.
On Nov.7, the Appeals Court ruled that the case be reopened and sent the file to the Cassation Court to set a date for the retrial before a new panel of judges.
MP Hani Sorour, owner of the Hidelina factory and one of the exonerated defendants, along with six other employees of Hidelina and the Ministry of Health were found innocent last June of providing defective blood bags to the Ministry of Heath.
Shortly after, Prosecutor General Abdel-Meguid Mahmoud repealed the verdict and forwarded the repeal to the Appeals Court for consideration.
Three hours later, Mahmoud issued a decree banning Sorour and the accused from traveling.
Sorour is a member of the ruling National Democratic Party and was a former member of parliament s economic affairs committee. He was stripped of his parliamentary immunity in January 2007
Those who had been tried in the case were: Dr Helmi Salah Al-Din, general manager of the blood affairs department at the Ministry of Health; Dr Mohamed Wagdan, chairman of the technical center in Hidelina; Nivan Sorour, Hani Sorour’s sister and Hidelina board member; as well as three company employees, Wafaa Abdel Rahim, Ashraf Ishaq and Fathia Ahmed Abdel Rahim.
The proceedings began in mid-2007 after an employee at the health ministry, Soheir El Sharkawi, blew the whistle on 200,000 defective blood bags in the ministry’s storage.
Investigations also found violations in the license granted to Hidelina to provide the bags. The Ministry of Health insisted that no harm had come from the blood bags which contained what they labeled “industrial defects.
Health Minister Hatem El-Gabaly testified in favor of Hidelina.
Hidelina was accused of producing 200,000 defective blood bags ripe with bacteria and fungi that could have caused cancer and hepatitis.