Bulgarian Foreign Minister to Arrive in Libya Ahead of Ruling in HIV Trial
Bulgarian Foreign Minister Solomon Passy was due in Libya this week ahead of the ruling in a trial of six Bulgarian medics charged with infecting hundreds of children with the HIV virus, the Bulgarian Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday. The six Bulgarians, in prison for nearly three years, could face the death sentence if convicted in the first trial of its kind in Libya involving foreign citizens.
A Palestinian doctor and nine Libyans were also charged in the case. All the defendants pleaded not guilty.
Bulgarian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Elena Poptodorova told Reuters Passy would leave for Tripoli on Wednesday evening and stay until Sunday. She added the visit was at the invitation of Libya's Foreign Minister Mohammed Abderrahmane Chalgam.
While in Tripoli, Passy is planned to have talks with Seif al-Islam, the son of Libyan ruler Muammar Gaddafi and chairman of the Gaddafi International Foundation for Charity Associations, who has decided to be an observer at the trial. Poptodorova did not reveal whether Passy would attend Saturday's court session.
The trial, which commenced on June 2 after many delays, has revoked deep passions in Bulgaria. The six Bulgarians - five female nurses and a male doctor, are accused of intentionally infecting 393 Libyan children at a Benghazi hospital with blood products contaminated with the HIV virus, which can cause AIDS. In the past, Bulgarian officials and defence lawyers had stated that in case of possible death sentences there would be an appeal. (Albawaba.com)
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