“Innocent” reads the banner in the Bulgarian capital Sofia as Libya’s High Judicial Council meets to discuss the fate of the five Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian doctor currently held on death row. All six have been condemned to death for infecting 426 children with HIV.
The EU is hopeful the six will be released after holding talks with an association of victims. The families demanded compensation of 10-million euros for each infected child’s familiy. “Blood money” under Islamic law allows victims relatives to withdraw death sentences in return for reparations.
The EU refuses to accept the idea of compensation, which would imply the medics were guilty, but has offered a fund to pay for future care of those afflicted believed to be 700,000 euros per family. The six have been held since 1999. Some Western scientists say negligence and poor hygiene were to blame and the infections began before they arrived at the hospital.