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Medics accused of deliberate HIV infection face re-trial in Libya

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Medics accused of deliberate HIV infection face re-trial in Libya


A fresh trial begins today of five Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian doctor accused of infecting hundreds of Libyan children with the HIV virus. It’s expected lawyers for the accused will ask for their clients to be freed on bail.

The group, detained since 1999, had been sentenced to death. But in December last year Libya’s Supreme Court overturned the verdicts and sent the case back to a lower court. The Defence is also expected to ask for a recess, to give them time to study the prosecution’s case. Bulgarian television has reported that almost eight million euros compensation is being claimed for each of the 426 children infected. The total sum corresponds exactly with the amount of compensation Libya owes to the families of the 270 victims of the 1988 Lockerbie bombing. The case has hampered Libya’s efforts to end three decades of diplomatic isolation as Bulgaria, backed by the European Union and the US, maintains the accused are innocent. It’s claimed evidence exists which proves the nurses were tortured to confess. HIV experts have also claimed the infection broke out before the group worked at the hospital, and was a result of poor hygiene procedures.
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