A judge in Tripoli, Libya, on Tuesday acquitted nine police officers and a military doctor accused of torturing six medics to wring confessions from them that they deliberately infected more than 380 Libyan children with HIV, Agence France-Presse reports. Three of the health workers confessed to infecting the children but told authorities that they had been tortured--including receiving electrical shocks--until they signed confessions. All six have been found guilty by a Libyan court of infecting the children and were given death sentences, but their sentences are currently on appeal. A decision in that case is expected in November.
The medics and AIDS experts say the infections at a children's hospital in Benghazi were caused by poor sanitary conditions and contaminated medical devices.
"There is no torture in Libya," said Jomaa al-Meshri, one of the accused, after the acquittal, Agence France-Presse reports. "The West wants to politicize the affair, but we left it in the hands of the law."