Kristiyana Valcheva: I Never Lost Hope

Society | October 6, 2007, Saturday // 00:00| Views: | Comments: 0
Bulgaria: Kristiyana Valcheva: I Never Lost Hope Valcheva (pictured), the wife of doctor Zdravko Georgiev, who was acquitted on the same charges in 2004, is releasing the book in France on Monday. File photo by Yuliana Nikolova (Sofia Photo Agency)

Kristiyana Valcheva, one of the five Bulgarian nurses who spent more than eight years in a Libyan jail accused of deliberately infecting children with the HIV, says she never lost hope throughout her ordeal.

"I knew [Libyan leader Muammar] Qaddafi needed his hostages alive," she told reporters at a press conference in France, at the launch of her book "Heads Up."

Ghost-written by Bulgarian reporter Mirolyuba Benatova and Marie-Therese Cuny, a French journalist who focuses on women's issues, the book portrays the events, which included a long imprisonment, torture and two trials, from Valcheva's own point of view.

The book is released in France on Monday, and will be launched shortly in Bulgaria, Germany and the UK, as well.

The five Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian doctor were sentenced to death in Libya on charges of deliberately infecting more than 400 children with the HIV virus, which causes AIDS. The medics have maintained their innocence throughout the proceedings.

Their sentences were shifted to life imprisonment after reaching a settlement with the families of the infected children and were pardoned after they were extradited back to Bulgaria in July.
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