Court to define new charges against Bulgarians, Palestinian in AIDS case

Published June 3rd, 2002 - 02:00 GMT

A Libyan court is to define new charges against six Bulgarian medical staff and a Palestinian accused of provoking an AIDS epidemic through tainted blood products, the Bulgarian foreign ministry said on Sunday. 


The medical staff currently face charges of "provoking an AIDS epidemic through the use of contaminated products," after 393 Libyan children were found to have been infected. 


AIDS-related diseases have already killed 23 of the children in the al-Fateh children's hospital in Benghazi, where the Bulgarians worked, according to AFP


They were first charged with "premeditated assassination with the intention of undermining the Libyan state," which could have resulted in the death penalty, however the case was thrown out when it went to court on February 17. 


Their lawyer, Othmane al-Bizanti said on Bulgarian radio that an examining court is likely to sit several times before either deciding to send the case on to a higher court for trial, or ruling that there is insufficient evidence for the case to proceed. 


The Bulgarians, namely, five nurses and a doctor and the Palestinian doctor, are also accused of illegally making alcohol, having sex outside marriage and trading currency on the black market. 


Bulgarian Foreign Minister Solomon Passi met with Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi in May to discuss the case. (

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