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Romanian court rules fertility clinic owners must remain in custody

A Romanian court on Monday rejected an appeal by two Israelis suspected of human egg trafficking, keeping them in custody. The lawyers of father and son Harry and Yair Meron, the owners of a Bucharest fertility clinic, claimed that their clients did not pose a danger to the public, and asked that they be allowed to move around Romania, albeit with restrictions. However, prosecutors expressed concern that the suspects would obstruct the investigation.
Last week, the two were remanded for 29 days.

The prosecutor said that there were suspicions referring to the way the clinic got the authorization to work only a week before the beginning of the investigation carried out by the Directorate of Investigating the Offences of Organized Crime and Terrorism.

The representative of the Prosecutor's Office also said that releasing the doctors would endanger the investigation and offered as an argument the fact that Harry Mironescu, although under arrest, tried to phone another doctor, who was charged in this case.

On the other hand Dr Harry Mironescu denied the charges pressed by the prosecutors according to whom he was said to have given money to the women in exchange for ovocytes donation, but admitted that sums of money were settled for covering some expenses connected to transport and accommodation.The judges working with the Court of Appeal in Bucharest are to decide if they keep the three persons under arrest.

The prosecutors swooped on the clinic on the night from July 19 to 20 and found 30 persons who were prepared for the in vitro fertilization. The embryos that were to be implanted had been obtained in the clinic following the fertilization of the ovocytes that had been collected against payment from the donors in the previous weeks without the agreement of the National Transplant Agency on the accreditation of this activity.