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Thursday, November 19, 1998 Published at 23:19 GMT

World: Europe

Former Portuguese minister indicted over AIDS scandal

A Portuguese court has indicted a former health minister over an AIDS scandal dating back to her time in office during the nineteen-eighties.

The court said the minister, Leonor Beleza, should be tried for propagating a contagious disease.

The decision refers back to a case in which more than one-hundred Portuguese haemophiliacs were infected with the AIDS virus after receiving transfusions of contaminated plasma that had been imported and distributed bythe public health service.

Miss Beleza, who has resigned as deputy leader of the opposition Social Democrats, will be tried with eight other defendants.

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