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Last Updated: Tuesday, 10 May, 2005, 12:39 GMT 13:39 UK
Kerr pulls out of Hep C hearing
Andy Kerr
Health Minister Andy Kerr has taken legal advice over the Hep C issue
The health minister has pulled out of a Holyrood committee hearing on patients infected with Hepatitis C from contaminated blood products.

Andy Kerr decided not to give evidence to the health committee on Tuesday after consulting lawyers.

The Lord Advocate told him it was "not appropriate" to attend because campaigners had taken their demands for an inquiry to the Court of Session.

Ministers said they now needed to look further at the legal situation.

Fourteen-year fight

On Monday, papers calling for a judicial review were lodged at the Court of Session in Edinburgh.

About 550 patients were infected with the virus via contaminated blood in Scotland in the 1970s and 1980s.

Victims' lawyers want the Scottish Executive to explain how they managed to contract the virus and to force the Lord Advocate to hold an inquiry.

The legal move is the latest step in a 14-year fight to find answers but campaigners are not optimistic they will succeed.


SEE ALSO:
Hep C campaign launches legal bid
09 May 05 |  Scotland
Payout hope for Hep C patients
05 Jul 04 |  Scotland
Legal challenge over Hep C cases
06 May 04 |  Scotland
Hep C criminal cases ruled out
23 Feb 04 |  Scotland
Hep C compensation plan 'derisory'
23 Jan 04 |  Scotland


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