Prosecutor urges 4-year sentence for faulty breast implants

May 14, 2013 6:43 pm
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Poly Implant Prothese founder Jean-Claude Mas (L) pictured at a courthouse on May 14 in Marseille during his trial/AFP
Poly Implant Prothese founder Jean-Claude Mas (L) pictured at a courthouse on May 14 in Marseille during his trial/AFP
MARSEILLE, May 14 – A French prosecutor on Tuesday called for the founder of a firm whose faulty breast implants sparked a global health scare to be given a four-year prison sentence on fraud charges.

In closing arguments at the trial in Marseille, prosecutor Jacques Dallest also called for PIP founder Jean-Claude Mas to pay a 100,000 euro (Sh10 million) fine and to be banned from working in medical services or from running a company.

The defence is to present its closing arguments from Wednesday to Friday, after a month-long trial that was among the biggest ever held in France.

Deputy prosecutor Ludovic Leclerc urged the court to hold the defendants to account.

“This was a system of massive fraud against thousands of women, a deception the likes of which we have rarely seen… Once again, the pursuit of money was put before the health of others,” he said.

Five PIP executives are on trial in the case including the 73-year-old Mas, charged with aggravated fraud for using industrial-grade silicone in implants.

The others on trial are PIP’s former general manager Claude Couty, quality control director Hannelore Font, technical director Loic Gossart and product director Thierry Brinon.

The prosecutor called for prison terms of between six months and two years for the other defendants.

An estimated 300,000 women in 65 countries are believed to have received the implants, which are twice as likely to rupture as other brands, and more than 7,000 women registered as plaintiffs in the case.

One of the plaintiffs, Joelle Manighetti, said no sentence would be harsh enough for the many victims.

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