New Evidence May Exonerate Libya-Tried Nurses

Politics | December 6, 2006, Wednesday // 00:00| Views: | Comments: 0
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Nature Magazine has published a report claiming that there is new evidence to the innocence of the five Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian doctor accused of causing a HIV pandemic in a Benghazi hospital.

Analyzing blood samples from 44 of the HIV-infected children, scientists have discovered that the outspread started in the hospital and the vicinity long before the six ever started working there.

All of the children tested, were also infected with a virus typical of the western parts of Africa. There are a lot of migrants in Libya from this region, the experts point out in their report.

The genetic information that characterizes the HIV virus changes with time, creating a type of a molecular stopwatch, allowing to pinpoint the time when the disease started spreading through the body, the experts say. Their reading of the "clock" shows that the children were most likely infected about three years before the nurses even started working at the hospital.

Evidence proves that the children were infected due to long-existing viral control in the hospital.

The six have been jailed for more than seven years, with Libya accusing them of intentionally infecting more than 400 children with the deadly virus. A court in Benghazi sentenced them to death, but the case was kicked for a retrial in Tripoli.
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