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Canada prosecutors drop charges in Red Cross tainted blood case

[JURIST] Prosecutors dropped all criminal charges Friday against former Canadian Red Cross [group website] national medical director Dr. Roger Perrault, who had been implicated in Canada's tainted blood scandal [CBC backgrounder], finding that there was "no reasonable prospect of conviction in this case." Perrault's lawyer said that his client should never have been charged and suggested that he was merely a scapegoat. A spokesperson for the Canadian Hemophiliac Society [advocacy website] expressed disappointment at the decision.

The charges were related to use of tainted blood products by the Canadian Red Cross in Canada in the 1980s and 1990s, a public health disaster that infected more than 20,000 people with hepatitis C and more than 1,000 people with HIV. Perrault and three other defendants were acquitted [JURIST report] last October of charges associated with distributing the tainted blood, but charges were still pending against him for failure to properly screen donors. CBC News has more. The Globe and Mail has additional coverage.

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