Bulgarian Medics Trial May Linger 3 More Years

Politics | February 12, 2005, Saturday // 00:00| Views: | Comments: 0
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Bulgarian Medics Trial May Linger 3 More Years Five Bulgarian nurses were sentenced to death for allegedly having caused an AIDS outbreak at a Benghazi hospital. The trial may protract for another three years, lawyers say. Photo by bTV

The protracted HIV trial of the five Bulgarian nurses in Libya may drag on for another three years, should the Supreme Court in Tripoli refer back the case during its March session.

The lawyers of the Bulgarian defendants have tabled a complaint, which exposes objectively oversights of the Libyan court that they hope to lead to a new review of the case. Among the listed omissions is the search in Kristiana Vulcheva's home, where banks containing HIV-infected blood plasm were found.

Documents prove the search warrant was illegal, still the court accepted the banks as irrevocable proof in the trial, the lawyers say.

Libyan lawyer Osman Bizanti warned that the defense will be helpless if the supreme court upholds the death sentences.

Only active diplomatic moves by state officials could make any difference then, he said, hinting for the first time at the political aspect of the trial.

A Libyan court found in May last year the five Bulgarian health workers and a Palestinian doctor guilty of having caused the death of 40 children and of infecting almost 400 others with HIV at a Benghazi hospital.

The nurses were sentenced to death by a firing squad, sparking cries of foul from Bulgaria and its allies the United States and the European Union.

The medics' confessions, which were extracted with torture, is the only evidence proving their guilt.
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