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Savita's husband objects to Galway doctors' role in inquiry on tragic death

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Zoe Valery holds a sign directing people to a vigil on Lehman Lawn at Barnard College in Manhattan, New York, on Monday, November 19, 2012, to remember Savita Halappanavar, who died in Ireland the previous month from a miscarriage after a hospital refused to perform an abortion to terminate her pregnancy. (Photograph by Yana Paskova for the Independent newspaper)

Zoe Valery holds a sign directing people to a vigil on Lehman Lawn at Barnard College in Manhattan, New York, on Monday, November 19, 2012, to remember Savita Halappanavar, who died in Ireland the previous month from a miscarriage after a hospital refused to perform an abortion to terminate her pregnancy. (Photograph by Yana Paskova for the Independent newspaper)

Yana Paskova

Zoe Valery holds a sign directing people to a vigil on Lehman Lawn at Barnard College in Manhattan, New York, on Monday, November 19, 2012, to remember Savita Halappanavar, who died in Ireland the previous month from a miscarriage after a hospital refused to perform an abortion to terminate her pregnancy. (Photograph by Yana Paskova for the Independent newspaper)

THE heartbroken husband of Savita Halappanavar has demanded a full public and independent inquiry into his pregnant wife's death in a Galway hospital.





Praveen Halappanavar also questioned the involvement of three doctors from the Galway hospital in the HSE investigation.

"It does bother me that there are people from Galway hospital on the inquiry," said Mr Halappanavar.



"I would prefer no Galway people on the inquiry. I will basically request that there will be no one from Galway on it."

The widowe also said he believed there would have been no investigation if there had not been such widespread public interest in his wife's death.



Praveen has been staying with close friends in Galway since his return from India at the weekend.



His solicitor Gerard O'Donnell told the Irish Independent: "We cannot stop the HSE doing what it is going to do, but how can you expect a man to have faith in an inquiry by the HSE when he has lost his wife in the care of the HSE?



"I doubt if he will take part in their inquiry at all. The only way we can get to the bottom of what went on is through a public inquiry."



Mr O'Donnell said his client and Savita's family were not happy with the HSE investigation announced yesterday.



"I have now written to the Health Minister James Reilly in which the family has demanded a full public inquiry into Savita's death – and nothing less than a full public inquiry will suffice.''



They are asking that Dr Reilly reply to their letter today.



"A public inquiry is the best inquiry because in it witnesses can be placed under oath and cross-examined," said Mr O'Donnell.



The new turn in the case came just hours after Mr Halappanavar said he wanted to pass on the gratitude of Savita's family.





"My family and I are very grateful for all the support we have received from the Irish people and from people all over the world."



Friends say he is heartbroken but has taken comfort from the vigils held across the country.



Mr Halappanavar will receive the exact terms of reference of the HSE investigation today.



Savita's brother, Sanjeev Yalagi, a 32-year-old software engineer, had earlier said they will consider a civil action if the HSE inquiry does not deliver answers for them.



Mr Yalagi repeated the views of his parents and brother that any inquiry should be independent.



"I'll be travelling (to Ireland) if my brother-in-law needs me for anything," he added.



He said the family were waiting to hear the outcome of the inquiry before making a decision on whether to take any civil case over Mrs Halappanavar's death.



Mr Yalagi said if they felt "justice does not come out" they would "take it to the court".



Social Protection Minister Joan Burton said the Government would not rule out the possibility of a public inquiry.

But she insisted the HSE investigation must take place first.

Sinn Fein will table a motion in the Dail tonight calling for an immediate change to abortion laws.

It will urge the Government to legislate on the 20-year-old Supreme Court ruling on the X Case - allowing women an abortion when their lives are in danger.

The Government will produce a counter-motion to ensure Sinn Fein is voted down, but a number of Labour backbenchers have suggested the counter-motion will have to be sufficiently progressive to get their vote.

TDs will debate the issue and are expected to vote tomorrow.