Libyan official promises fair trial for AIDS workers

By Editors

Originally published on August 24 2002 12:00 AM ET

Libyan foreign minister Mohammed Abderrahmane Chalgam on Wednesday promised Bulgarian officials that six Bulgarian health care workers accused of deliberately infecting 393 Libyan children with HIV while working at a hospital in Benghazi will receive a fair trial. "Justice is guaranteed 100% for the Bulgarians and for everyone, no matter whether a Libyan or a foreigner," he said during a visit to Bulgaria. The six Bulgarians--five nurses and a doctor--have been imprisoned in Libya since 1999. They were also charged with conspiring with foreign intelligence services, including the CIA and the Israeli secret service, to undermine the security of the country, but those charges were dropped in February. The HIV charges also may be dropped; prosecutors are expected to announce Monday whether they will proceed with a trial.