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Prosecutors on Friday demanded that the Tokyo High Court overturn a lower court acquittal of a former vice president of Teikyo University in connection with the AIDS death of a male hemophiliac patient in 1991.

The Tokyo District Court ruled on March 28, 2001, that Takeshi Abe, 86, once Japan’s top hemophilia expert and a former vice president of the university, was not criminally liable for the death of the patient, who had been infected with HIV by contaminated unheated blood-clotting agents in 1985.

Prosecutors told the first appellate trial session Friday that the lower court’s decision was seriously flawed, claiming Abe was obviously negligent because he could have foreseen that the use of imported, unheated blood products would result in patients being infected with HIV.

The prosecutors maintained that Abe could have prevented the man being infected with HIV by using Cryoprecipitate, a domestically produced blood-clotting agent that is a safe alternative in treating hemophiliacs.

When prosecutors appealed Abe’s acquittal, they denounced the lower court ruling, saying it did not take into consideration that the doctor had betrayed those he had pledged to help.

Abe was accused of directing his subordinates in 1985 to administer unheated blood products to the male hemophiliac. The patient subsequently contracted HIV and died in 1991.

Four other people were tried in connection with the HIV scandal, which affected over 1,400 hemophiliacs.

In September 2001, a former director of the biologics division of the then Health and Welfare Ministry was found partially guilty and sentenced to a suspended one-year prison term. Both the defendant and prosecutors are appealing the ruling.

Of three indicted former presidents of the now-defunct Green Cross Corp., which sold HIV-tainted blood products in the 1980s, one died during his trial and two are appealing their cases to the Supreme Court after they received prison terms in the district and high courts.

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