Libyan Foreign Minister Promises Fair Trial for Bulgarian Health Workers Accused of Deliberately Infecting Children With HIV
Libyan Foreign Minister Mohammed Abderrahmane Chalgam on Wednesday promised Bulgarian officials that six Bulgarian health care workers who are accused of deliberately infecting 393 Libyan children with HIV while working at a hospital in Benghazi will receive a fair trial, Reuters reports. Chalgam, in Bulgaria on a two-day goodwill visit, said, "Justice is guaranteed 100% for the Bulgarians and for everyone, no matter whether a Libyan or a foreigner." The six Bulgarians -- five nurses and a doctor -- have been detained in Libya since early 1999. They were also charged with conspiring with foreign intelligence services to "undermin[e] Libyan security," but that charge was dropped in February (Sabeva, Reuters, 8/21). State prosecutors have yet to decide whether to move forward with the case or drop the charges of deliberately infecting the children (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 2/19). All six Bulgarians have pleaded innocent to the charges, and prosecutors are expected to announce on Monday whether they will proceed with a trial (Reuters, 8/21). Thirty-eight of the 393 children have died of AIDS-related causes, AP/Yahoo! News reports (AP/Yahoo! News, 8/21).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.