A judge on Tuesday ordered that Italian fertility guru Severino Antinori be released from prison and put under house arrest for allegedly removing eggs from a 24-year-old Spanish nurse’s ovaries without her consent.
The 70-year-old surgeon’s lawer Tommaso Pietrocarlo welcomed the ruling. “I was very concerned at the incarceration of an elderly man who has a heart condition,” Pietrocarlo said.
Antinori’s lawyers are due on Wednesday to request an Italian court to release him from custody. His defence will also ask the court to re-open Antinori’s private clinic in Milan, where he allegedly removed eight of the Spanish woman’s eggs without her consent.
Antinori, dubbed the ‘grandmother’s obstetrician’ for helping women in their sixties to have children was transferred to prison on Thursday from a Rome hospital, where he was admitted with chest pains after being put under house arrest on 14 May.
The controversial doctor was imprisoned after he breached the conditions of his house arrest, giving a series of phone interviews with media, including one alleging that the nurse, a naturalised Spanish citizen originally from Morocco, was a member of the Islamic State jihadist group.
Antonori, who is under investigation for kidnap and causing grievous bodily harm, has alleged he’s the victim of a ‘witchunt’. He has told investigating magistrates that he did not forcibly remove the Spanish woman’s eggs at his Milan clinic in April.
Antinori’s defence team said they have submitted documentation to an Italian court including forms signed by the Spanish nurse allegedly proving she chose to enter an egg donation programme voluntarily
The nurses alleges she was tricked by Antinori, who invited her to come and work for him at his clinic in Milan, told her she had an ovarian cyst and gave her a course of hormone injections, allegedly to treat the cyst when in fact he was stimulating her ovaries in order to harvest her eggs.