Bulgaria Dismisses Defense Lawyer for Health Workers Accused of Infecting Children With HIV
Bulgarian Justice Minister Georgi Petkanov on Tuesday told reporters that officials have dismissed Egyptian lawyer Emin ad Dib, who was part of a team defending health workers who were sentenced to death for allegedly infecting more than 400 Libyan children with HIV, the Bulgarian News Agency reports (Bulgarian News Agency, 3/7). The five Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian physician were sentenced to death by firing squad in May 2004. The Libyan Supreme Court on Dec. 25, 2005, overturned the convictions and ordered a retrial in a lower court. The health workers say they are innocent of the charges, claiming they were forced to confess. Ad Dib on Sunday had said the case could not be assigned to a panel for reconsideration because Libyan attorney Osman Bizanti, who also is defending the health workers, failed to file an application. However, Bizanti said ad Dib was lying and is not familiar with Libyan criminal proceedings. Bulgaria's former Justice Minister Anton Stankov said there is no delay, adding that the disagreement between the lawyers is personal (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 3/7). Petkanov on Tuesday explained the dismissal, saying Bizanti contracted ad Dib to work with the defense on the Libyan Supreme Court trial, which has ended (Bulgarian News Agency, 3/7).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.