Libya sets July 11 for HIV nurses ruling
Libya’s Supreme Court will rule on July 11 on an appeal by six foreign medics sentenced to death for infecting Libyan children with HIV, marking the final stage of a trial that has affected Libya’s ties with the West.
"The case is reserved for a verdict on July 11," the judge, Fathi Dhan, told the court.
The five Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian doctor were convicted in December of deliberately infecting 426 children with HIV in a highly politicized trial that have slowed attempts by OPEC-member Libya to end its long international isolation.
Separately, Driss Lagha, chairman of the Association for the Families of the HIV-infected Children, said a deal on financial compensation might be wrapped up in the next few days in talks between the European Union (EU) and the families.
"We might reach a settlement on financial compensation in a week -- even before the next court session," he told Reuters, referring to longstanding demands by the families for financial compensation, which could set the stage for the medics’ release.
Lagha added that any deal agreed in coming days would not affect the court’s decision on July 11.
The medics, who have been in jail since 1999, appealed to the Supreme Court saying they are innocent and were tortured into confessing. The United States and the European Union have stepped up pressure on Tripoli to release them.
"I ask you, the just court, to restore freedom to these women who have been deprived of it for eight years," Bulgarian lawyer Plamen Yalnazov told the court, which heard arguments from both defense and prosecution lawyers.