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Libya postpones ruling in HIV case

Libya postpones ruling in HIV case

Bulgarian president Georgi Parvanov on Tuesday welcomed the decision by Libya's supreme court to postpone its ruling on an appeal by five Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian doctor sentenced to death in a high-profile AIDS trial. E.U. external relations commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner announced in Luxembourg that the Libyan court had postponed the decision until November. "I hope this will clear the path to a full explanation of the tragedy and to a just ruling on the case of our compatriots, in whose innocence we are convinced," Parvanov said in a statement. He also pledged to go on with his efforts to ensure a "quick and just ending of this painful process." The six medics were sentenced to death last year by a court in Benghazi, Libya, for allegedly infecting more than 400 Libyan children with HIV-contaminated blood. Last week, in a bid to free the medics, Parvanov went to Libya to meet with Libyan leader Mu'ammar Gadhafi and to visit a hospital treating some of the HIV-positive children the medics are accused of infecting. Human rights groups have accused the Libyan government of concocting the charges to cover up unsafe practices in its hospitals and clinics. The United States, the European Union, and Bulgaria have pressed Libya to free the medics. Libya has called on Bulgaria to pay compensation to the victims' families. Bulgaria has rejected that demand. (AP)

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