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Implants chief faces French charges

The boss of the French company at the centre of the breast implant scandal faces charges of "involuntary injury", his lawyer said.

Jean-Claude Mas, who founded and ran PIP, was released on 100,000 euro (£83,000) bail. His lawyer, Yves Haddad, said an investigating magistrate ordered the 72-year-old to stay in France and not meet any other former executives of the now closed company Poly Implant Prostheses (PIP).

Mas reportedly told police in October the victims were money grabbers and that he had "nothing to say" to them.

Around 40,000 British women have received PIP implants which were filled with non-medical grade silicone intended for use in mattresses.

Mother-of-one Stacey Williams, 25, from Portsmouth, suffers from shooting pains in her left breast after having the implants fitted. She believes Mas is the "main person" responsible for the scandal. She said: "I'm so angry and upset with him. If it wasn't for him I wouldn't be in this situation. Something needs to happen to him. It's all his fault."

Coronation Street actress Vanessa Halstead, 29, who plays a cocktail waitress in the soap, told The Sun she suffered "unbearable" pain before one of her PIP implants exploded.

On Thursday, two more private firms agreed to remove the implants free of charge. Transform, which has just over 4,000 patients in the UK with the implants, performed a U-turn after originally saying patients would have to pay. The Hospital Group has also now said it will fund removal of the implants.

Health Secretary Andrew Lansley has been calling on private clinics to honour the "duty of care" they owe patients after the Government offered free removals to those affected.

The Harley Medical Group, which fitted the breast implants to almost 14,000 British women, published a statement on its website saying it would remove implants from patients undergoing operations in the last 10 years but only if they had suffered a rupture and had an accompanying scan showing that.

If within the last six years, patients will be eligible for a replacement and between six and 10 years, patients will be charged cost price to replace the implants.

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