Monday, July 26, 2004

Libya: FM tells Bulgarians to negotiate with Libyan families

Five Bulgarian nurses -- and a Palestinian doctor -- were found guilty of intentionally infecting hundreds of children with HIV and were sentenced to death a couple of months ago. All six have maintained their innocence and have been supported by numerous HIV/AIDS researchers who say that poor hygiene at the hospital where they worked was the most likely reason for the infections. Now a possible out ...
"We propose to the Bulgarians to negotiate with the victims' families, and if the families agree to negotiate, then we can get closer to a settlement," Shalgham told a press conference.

The foreign minister declined to elaborate on what form a settlement could take but said that "the justice system would decide", while Libyan officials have been raising the possibility of payment of compensation to the families.

The European Union could also play a role "by taking charge of the treatment of the sick children either in Europe or by building them a special hospital in Benghazi", Shalgham said.

At the end of their trial, the nurses and doctor were already ordered to pay a total of one million dollars (827,000 euros) in compensation to the families of the victims. (source)
But the Bulgarian government has already rejected the offer ...
"A legal practice like this is unacceptable as Bulgaria’s position is that the medics are innocent," Bulgarian Deputy Foreign Minister Gergana Grancharova said.

She added Bulgarian Foreign Minister Solomon Passy had already rejected similar proposals Shalgham made in talks they had on the case. (source)

P.S. Here is a handy timeline of the case ... from arrest through to conviction ...