Head of implant firm released from prison

Oct. 30, 2012 at 10:38 AM

PARIS, Oct. 30 (UPI) -- The founder of a French breast implant company at the center of a global health scare has been released from prison in southern France, officials said.

Judge Pierre Philipon ruled that Jean-Claude Mas can be placed under judicial supervision after serving eight months in detention following his arrest, Radio France Internationale reported Tuesday.

Mas, 72, and four other former officials of the silicone breast implant company PIP are due to go on trial next April in a liability case involving 180 lawyers and nearly 5,000 plaintiffs.

PIP closed in March 2010 after regulators discovered the firm was using a non-medical grade of silicone in its breast implants.

Between 400,000 and 500,000 women in 65 countries are believed to have implants from PIP, once the world's third-largest silicone implant producer.

French officials have said that cancers, including breast cancer, have been detected in 20 French women with the implants.

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