Millionaire Lebanese, Hatem Akouche, Politician Goes Back on Trial in Spain for Organ Harvesting KossyDerrickBlog KossyDerrickEnt


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Sunday, November 6, 2022

Millionaire Lebanese, Hatem Akouche, Politician Goes Back on Trial in Spain for Organ Harvesting

Information reaching Kossyderrickent has it that Millionaire Lebanese Hatem Akouche Politician Goes Back on Trial in Spain for Organ Harvesting. (Read More Here).

A millionaire Lebanese politician has gone on trial in Spain for organ trafficking after he allegedly tried to buy a liver from poor illegal immigrants.

Hatem Akouche and four other defendants appeared in court in Valencia for trying to buy part of a liver for a transplant.

Hatem Akouche was arrested in January at Manises airport (Valencia). Days later, the police detained four other people – three Lebanese relatives and their Palestinian contact – as a result of an investigation that began more than a year earlier, when an NGO alerted authorities that several people were offering 40,000 euros in exchange for liver sections.

Criminal investigators with Valencia’s Judicial Brigade waited until Akouche traveled to Spain for medical purposes to make their arrest. Father and son flew to Valencia in January, and from there to Barcelona to undergo a checkup at Barna ClĂ­nic following his transplant in August 2013.

Akouche — former mayor of the Lebanese city El Kharayeb — allegedly did this via two of his nephews, who managed a marble company in Novelda, Alicante Province, Valencia Region.

But the men were caught when a volunteer for an NGO working with undocumented immigrants learnt of an Algerian woman who had been contacted by them.

The 28-year-old woman had gone for tests in preparation for the organ donation but was eventually ruled out as a candidate because she was pregnant at the time.

The case represents the first time that potential human organ trafficking has been detected in Spain. Police in Valencia began investigating and found that at least seven others had gone to clinics to undergo the same tests as the Algerian woman.

They discovered that each potential candidate had been accompanied by the same relative of Akouche during their visits.

Each person was 'especially vulnerable both because of their origin and because of their economic hardship', said the prosecution.

The men's plan failed when staff at a Barcelona hospital became suspicious of a homeless Romanian man who was due to donate part of his liver there.

But the group is now back on trial after the Supreme Court annulled the outcome of that trial and ordered a retrial.

The court ordered the retrial to recognise The National Transplant Organization, an independent agency within the Spanish Ministry of Health, as an injured party.

The State Attorney, representing the Spanish Ministry of Health, is now leading the prosecution.

The others now in court are the former mayor's son, the two nephews, and another Lebanese national.

They are accused of promoting, favouring or facilitating the illegal transplantation of human organs of others.

The prosecution is requesting three years in prison for Akouche and seven for the other four defendants. Ali is the eldest son of Hatem Akouche, 61, a Lebanese politician who was arrested in Madrid as part of a police raid against a ring that allegedly purchased vital organs from undocumented migrants. This is the first case of organ trafficking to see the light in Spain, a country with a high donation rate and where buying and selling organs is a crime.

The politician’s son says he knows nothing about money offered for donations, or about secret tests to determine the compatibility of poor immigrants’ organs with his father’s own. He does, however, admit that during the time the two of them were in Valencia and Barcelona, they contemplated other options for the surgery.

The family of Hatem Akouche, who has seven other children besides Ali, insists that it is all a misunderstanding. Hatem Akouche had decided to undergo surgery in Spain after his own doctors in Beirut gave him an ultimatum. The months of cancer treatment following the diagnosis in 2011 was not working, and Lebanon did not have the infrastructure in place to carry out the transplant.

“I had been in Spain before, I had friends and acquaintances there. When I went with my father [for the first time, to undergo the compatibility tests], I contacted them,” he says. “Some came to my father to see if they could help, and offered to take the test; later we talked it over with the lawyer and learned that it was illegal in Spain if the donor was not a relative.”

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