Irish PM accuses Savita Halappanavar's husband of being uncooperative


Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny today appealed to the husband of Savita Halappanavar, an Indian dentist who died due to pregnancy-related complications after being denied abortion, to meet the head of the team probing her death, amid his demand for a full public investigation.

Kenny said Savita's husband Praveen could meet Sabaratnam Arulkumaran, the Chairman of the team, without prejudice to his views or his future feelings towards the investigation.

"Comments attributed to the man (Praveen) in the national newspapers are very different than what I see emanating from the legal team," Kenny said.

He told the Dail, the Irish Parliament, this morning that Praveen had said he did not want any person associated with Galway University Hospital involved in the investigation team.

"And that will be the case," Kenny said.

In his remarks in Parliament, Fianna Fail party leader Micheal Martin said Minister for Health James Reilly should have had contact with Praveen. "And nobody would have cast any aspersions on such contact," he added.

Martin said that if contact had been made, "We might not be where we are now in terms of the progression of this particular issue."

He said he did not think it was appropriate to be making public appeals to Praveen, given the circumstances, and that he was grieving because of the loss of his wife.

According to the Irish Times, Kenny said he believed it was in everybody's interest that the Chairman of the probe team should have a meeting with the husband of the deceased.

"I am not suggesting any manipulation at all, deputy," he added.

Sinn Fein party leader Gerry Adams said the government's handling of the matter had been "ill-judged and mismanaged."

Praveen is seeking a public investigation of the death of his wife last month. He says Savita asked repeatedly for a termination after her miscarriage but was refused as a foetal heartbeat was present.

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