Relatives Finger Bulgarian Nurses, Next Hearing Due July 25
The five Bulgarian nurses, who have been jailed for seven years already, stand trial for deliberately contaminating with the HIV virus over 400 kids.
The Court of Appellations in Tripoli convened Tuesday for its fourth session of the re-trial of the five Bulgarians and summoned to the stand witnesses for the prosecution.
At the start of the session the judge told informed each of the defendants with the main charge - deliberately causing an AIDS outbreak in Benghazi children's hospital in the period 1989-1999. The nurses pleaded innocent.
This was the first time since the start of the trial in 2000 that parents of infected children were allowed into the court.
All of the witnesses were relatives of children, who became victims of the HIV spread in the Benghazi hospital. The judges asked them whether they recognize among the defendants a nurse who took care of their child in the Benghazi hospital.
The first witness singled out Nasya Nenova as the nurse who treated his child in February 1999. He said he could not be mistaken as the woman in question was tall and blonde, a description that fits Nasya Nenova.
The second witness was a mother of an infected child, who fingered Valya Chervenyashka, Snezhana Dimitrova and Nasya Nenova, as well as the Palestinian doctor Ashraf Al-Hadjudj.
The third one said she knows Valya.
The Bulgarians vehemently denied the statements. "This is the first time we see these people. Make them say when exactly they have seen us before," they pleaded.
None of the citizens who featured on the list of the Bulgarian defence witnesses were summoned. These are Libyan citizens who testified to the authorities seven years ago but have never been brought to the court.
The next hearing was scheduled for July 25.
The Bulgarian nurses were tried once for causing a HIV epidemic among children on purpose, and found guilty. Then a higher court revoked their death sentences and ordered a retrial.
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