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Libyan AIDS
retrial resumes

Libyan AIDS
retrial resumes

Five Bulgarian nurses and one Palestinian doctor are accused of deliberately infecting children with HIV.

The long-awaited retrial of five Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian doctor accused in 1999 of deliberately infecting hundreds of children with HIV got under way Tuesday in Libya, Agence France-Presse reports. The health care workers were originally convicted in 2004 of infecting 426 children with HIV at a hospital in Benghazi, Libya, and were sentenced to death, but a Libyan judge overturned the death sentences and ordered a retrial in December 2005. The retrial had been set to begin in May but was postponed for procedural reasons.

Health officials testified in the original trial that the HIV infections originating at the Benghazi hospital occurred before the health workers arrived there and were likely the result of poor sanitary conditions, particularly the reuse of medical equipment that hadn't been properly cleaned. The health workers, under arrest since 1999, say they were tortured while in prison to wring confessions out of them. (The Advocate)

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