Medics in Libya receive funding

Published April 28th, 2001 - 02:00 GMT

The six Bulgarian medics, presently being held in custody in Libya received a small measure of good news from their home country last Friday, Sofia Echo Media reported. 

The six Bulgarian medical workers have been held in pre-trial custody in Libya since February 1999, the news serviced said, noting that they - five nurses and one doctor - have been charged with intentionally infecting 393 Libyan children with the HIV virus. 

The trial has been postponed a number of times. 

Bulgarian Ambassador to Libya Liudmil Spassov participated in the session of the commission. He had returned to Bulgaria last Tuesday for consultations with the Foreign Ministry before the next court hearing, which takes place Saturday. 

After the commission meeting, the ambassador showed to journalists the tape, which had been publicized in the media as containing materials proving the guilt of the Bulgarian medics, Sofia said. 

The videotape had been anonymously left at the Bulgarian Embassy in Tripoli a few days earlier, and due to its technical specificity its content could not have been viewed back in Libya, said Spassov. 

It contained a recording of an interview with a Libyan doctor on AIDS problems – the ways of transmission and of protection, as well as statistics about infected people worldwide, and had nothing to do with the Bulgarian medics’ case. 

“Newspaper headlines such as ‘Something wrong is going on in Libya’ (24 Chassa, April 19) are not in anybody’s interest,” said Spassov. “They do not help us in our efforts to avoid a negative turn of events. 

There is no objective reasoning behind such pretentious speculations. Newspapers announced last Thursday that secret information had leaked on the medics’ case, and the data did not correspond to the official information released by the Foreign Ministry. 

Bulgarian Foreign Minister Nadezhda Mihailova told the press that if it were proven that former Bulgarian Ambassador to Libya Krustyo Ilov had disclosed secret information, he would most probably be prosecuted. “Only the Libyan court, which is independent, can decide how the case would proceed,” said Spassov. “It is a unique case without precedent in international legal practice, and any forecasts would be imprecise,” –

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