AIDS-Experts "Incompetent" for Libyan Court

Politics | June 16, 2004, Wednesday // 00:00| Views: | Comments: 0

The reports of professors Luc Montagnier and Vittorio Colizzi have been disregarded by Benghazi Criminal Court as "incompetent and inconsistent in their conclusions."

The Court has found the reports of professors Montagnier and Colizzi on the HIV-trial against Bulgarian medics "futile" because they had failed to provide explanation about the reason of the hospital HIV-infection in Benghazi.

The 218-paged motives for the death verdicts of five Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian doctor were released on Monday, with over a week delay after the legal deadline set for preparing the motives elapsed.

French expert, Professor Luc Montagnier, who discovered the AIDS virus, witnessed at the trial that the April 1997 to March 1999 outbreak was caused by poor hygiene. He claimed that the epidemic had probably begun in 1997, one year before the accused began working there, and that it continued after their arrests.

The motives have indirectly recognized the tortures over the Bulgarians at the initial stages of investigation. During the trial, defence lawyers have raised serious concerns about the conduct of the investigation, including allegations of confessions extracted under torture.

However, Libya's Criminal Court has based all six verdicts on the self-confessions of one of the nurses, Nasya Nenova, Bulgarian 24 Hours daily informs.

Bulgarian nurses witnessed that while in custody they were beaten, tortured with electric shocks and jumped on to make them confess. Two of them claimed to have been raped.

The Cabinet approved the grant of EUR 53,000 from the Health Ministry for conducting a high-expertise scientific research on the reasons for the HIV-outbreak in Benghazi hospital.

Meanwhile, HIV-infected children from Libya and other African countries gathered in Tripoli on Wednesday to rally for solidarity, Egypt's news agency MENA reported.

Some hundreds of AIDS-suffering children have handed a petition to the UN representative in Libya, "condemning the deliberate children HIV-infection by Bulgarian nurses in the Al-Fateh hospital in Benghazi.

The petition concludes that "such a crime is comparable only to usage of biological weapon for mass destruction."
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