HIV blood trial opens in Paris

Four former French health officials appeared before an appeals court yesterday as demonstrators outside clamoured for politicians to go on trial in a scandal over transfusions of HIV-tainted blood, Reuter reports from Paris.

The hearing, in a courtroom packed with victims of the scandal and relatives of some 300 haemophiliacs who subsequently died, was suspended for several hours on a technicality after a brief opening session. The retrial is expected to last several weeks and will include an attempt by the haemophiliacs' lawyers to lodge a new, tougher charge of poisoning against the defendants, notably Michel Garretta, former director of France's blood transfusion centre.