September 10, 2003
Dr. Luc Montagnier, the French researcher who co-discovered HIV, earlier this month testified on behalf of the health workers, saying that the HIV outbreak among the children was most likely caused by poor hygiene and negligence and was not intentional. Montagnier added that the HIV infections in the al-Fateh hospital in the northern Libyan town of Benghazi probably began in 1997, before the workers arrived, and continued to spread after their arrival in 1998 (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 9/5). However, the state prosecutor called on the jury to disregard Montagnier's testimony, saying that he was asking for the death penalty based on evidence provided by a Libyan doctor and statements made to the police, according to Agence France-Presse. According to police, two of the nurses and the Palestinian physician admitted guilt, but the three retracted their statements, saying that they confessed after being tortured by the police (Agence France-Presse, 9/8). The court case has been postponed until Sept. 22, when the defense is expected to make their arguments (Reuters, 9/8). According to Bulgarian News Digest, the court is expected to make a decision in the case by Oct. 9 (Bulgarian News Digest, 9/8).
Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view the entire Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, search the archives, or sign up for email delivery at www.kaisernetwork.org/dailyreports/hiv. The Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service of the Kaiser Family Foundation, by The Advisory Board Company. © 2003 by The Advisory Board Company and Kaiser Family Foundation. All rights reserved.