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Libya Accuses 6 Bulgarians of Infecting Kids with HIV

May 10, 2001

A Libyan prosecutor is seeking the death penalty against five nurses and one doctor charged with intentionally infecting 393 children with HIV at a hospital in the Libyan city of Benghazi. The trial, which opened in February, has met many delays but is scheduled to resume Sunday.

At the African summit on HIV/AIDS in Nigeria in April, Col. Moammar Gadhafi, the leader of Libya, told of a conspiracy in which the CIA created HIV; Western pharmaceuticals profit from it; and Bulgarians experimented with it on Libyan children. He linked the prosecution of the Bulgarians to the Scottish trial of two Libyan suspects for the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, that killed 270 people.

The trial has prompted outrage by the government of Bulgaria, which has asked the World Health Organization, the International Committee of the Red Cross and relevant bodies of the UN to get involved in the medical aspects of the case. Gadhafi's analogy with the Lockerbie trial "prompts thoughts about political moves aimed at turning Bulgarian citizens into scapegoats for settling scores with other countries," said Bulgarian Foreign Minister Nadezhda Milhailova, who met Monday with Arab ambassadors in Sofia, the Bulgarian capital.

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Adapted from:
Los Angeles Times
05.10.01; David Holley

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This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
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