HIV codiscoverer to testify in Libya AIDS trial

By Advocate.com Editors

Originally published on Advocate.com August 07 2003 12:00 AM ET

Luc Montagnier, the French codiscoverer of HIV, is expected to testify at an upcoming Libyan trial of six Bulgarian health workers accused of deliberately infecting 393 Libyan children with HIV, Agence France-Presse reports. The trial, which has been twice delayed, is expected to begin September 3. Montagnier visited a hospital in Benghazi, Libya, where the infections occurred and concluded that the HIV transmissions were due to medical errors, such as inadequate equipment, unskilled staff, and the reuse of hypodermic needles. The health workers have been jailed in Libya since 1999 when they were charged with deliberately infecting the children. Italian AIDS expert Vittorio Colizzi also is expected to testify at the trial. If found guilty, the health workers will face the death penalty.