Libyan Lawyer of AIDS-Case Bulgarians Denies Speaking of Torture

Published May 12th, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

The Libyan lawyer representing a Bulgarian doctor and five Bulgarian nurses accused of contaminating Libyan children with the AIDS virus, denied Thursday telling a Bulgarian paper that confessions had been obtained by force. 

"I did not see any marks of torture on the accused," Othman al-Bizanti told AFP. 

"I deny the remarks attributed to me by the Sega newspaper. I simply repeated what I heard the translator say that the confessions of the accused were obtained by force," he said. 

Wednesday's edition of Sega quoted Bizanti as saying confessions had been forced from two of the defendants "by physical and psychological pressure." 

The six Bulgarians are on trial accused of deliberately infecting 390 children in the pediatric hospital where they worked in the northern Libyan city of Benghazi. 

They are also charged with premeditated homicide, "activities which led to a massacre designed to sap Libya's strength" and "a violation of the Islamic way of life," according to the Bulgarian foreign ministry. 

Eight Libyan hospital administrators from Benghazi, and another Arab, face the same charges, the ministry said, although officials in Tripoli said no Libyans were involved. 

All the accused face the death penalty if convicted. 

The trial opened on February 7, and has already been adjourned three times. Bizanti confirmed that the next hearing is scheduled for June 4 - (AFP) 

© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)

You may also like