Freedom For Bulgarian Medics In Libya
Five Bulgarian medics were sentenced to death by firing squad in Libya on 6th of May for infecting patients with the HIV virus after a trial described by
the EU as flawed.
Libyan police arrested the Bulgarians in February 1999. They were in prison until September 2002, when a high tribunal in the Libyan capital, Tripoli, acquitted them of conspiracy charges and handed the case over to an ordinary criminal court. They were then placed under house arrest in Tripoli until being detained again when their trial recommenced in the eastern city of Benghazi in September.
An experts' poor hygiene at the Benghazi hospital likely led to the contamination, and estimated it happened in 1997 - more than a year before the Bulgarians were hired to work there. But a commission of court-appointed Libyan doctors rejected the Western expert's testimony and said the Bulgarians willfully infected the children with the virus through blood transfusions.