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Judge rules on price fixing case


A case dealing with price-fixing allegations against a string of individuals and drugs firms has been left up in the air after a top judge refused the Crown permission to change the indictment.

Mr Justice Pitchford also told the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) team that had brought the case he would not be giving them leave to appeal.

That meant they would have to make their own approach to the Court of Appeal in a bid to overturn his ruling, London’s Southwark Crown Court heard.

The judge’s ruling said “subject to any right of appeal, the indictment will be quashed”.

A court order bans any reporting of the details of the changes the Crown had sought, or any other information contained in the ruling.

In the dock were Denis O’Neill and John Clark of Kent Pharmaceuticals, Michael Sparrow, formerly of Generics (UK), Anil Sharma, formerly of Ranbaxy (UK), Nicholas Foster and Jonathan Close, both formerly of Norton Healthcare, Ajit Patel, and Kirti Patel, of Goldshield Group and Luma Auchi, formerly of Regent-GM Laboratories.

The firms Ranbaxy (UK), Generics (UK), Goldshield Group, Kent Pharmaceuticals and Norton Healthcare were also defendants in the case.

After the ruling, Goldshield chairman Keith Hellawell said: “We are absolutely delighted by the decision.”

Copyright PA Business 2008


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