Libyan Trial of Health Care Workers Who Allegedly Infected Children With HIV May End Soon
January 28, 2004
The Libyan trial of six Bulgarian health care workers charged with deliberately infecting 400 children with HIV through contaminated blood products may end soon, BBC News reports. Libyan leader Moammar Kadafi has accused the workers of taking orders from the CIA and the Israeli secret service Mossad to kill Libyan children in order to destabilize the country, according to BBC News (Wood, BBC News, 1/26). However, some European governments and human rights groups say that the Libyan Health Ministry failed to screen blood products adequately and allowed poor sterilization practices at Al Fateh Children's Hospital in Benghazi, where the children were infected. The health care workers have been detained in Libya since early 1999. A civil prosecutor in September 2003 requested about $10 million in compensation for the families of each HIV-positive child. The trial was suspended in December 2003 to await an opinion by a group of Libyan doctors (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 1/5). AIDS and infectious disease experts, including HIV co-discoverer Luc Montagnier, have testified for both the defense and prosecution.
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