Irish Coroner promises transparent probe into Savita's death
London: An Irish Coroner has promised a "transparent and accountable" probe into the death of an Indian dentist, who died after being refused an abortion.
"It is my duty as coroner to ensure that the inquiry shall be independent, effective and prompt - that the procedures are open, transparent and accountable and are subject to public scrutiny," Dr Ciaran MacLoughlin, the Coroner for Galway City said.
Offering his condolences to Savita Halappanavar's husband, MacLoughlin vowed to conduct the hearing with solemn respect, dignity and courtesy to him and to the memory of his 31-year-old wife.
He also said that her next of kin would be involved into the probe to an appropriate extent.
Savita died after complications with her pregnancy on October 28 after being denied an abortion as Ireland is a Catholic country.
Dr MacLoughlin urged all sides involved in the hearing to respect the functions of the court after medical records stating that Savita had requested an abortion were leaked last night, The Irish Times reported.
The family's legal team had previously said that medical notes they had seen did not record the request for a termination.
The hearing, which is expected to last more than a week, will begin on April 8 at Galway Courthouse.
Dr MacLoughlin was told 48 statements have already been furnished by health chiefs and gardai, with six more to be ready within a week.
However, John O'Donnell, junior counsel for Savita's husband Praveen, raised concerns about two more witnesses who have not, and may not, be able to assist the inquest due to personal difficulties.
Remembering his wife, Praveen credited his departed wife for the strength to continue his fight for truth.
"It's not easy to sit there in the court to see all the proceedings. I believe I'm getting that strength from somewhere to look forward. I suppose I believe it is coming from Savita. She was that type of a person," the paper quoted Praveen as saying.