Bulgarian president pardons nurses jailed

Bulgarian President Georgi Parvanov on Tuesday pardoned six medics sentenced to life imprisonment in Libya for allegedly infecting local children with HIV, a presidential statement said.

Bulgarian president pardons nurses jailed

The five Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian doctor, who had been granted Bulgarian citizenship, returned home early Tuesday after being jailed in Libya for more than eight years.

"Expressing his belief in the innocence of the medical workers, and in line with the powers bestowed on him by the Bulgarian constitution, the Bulgarian President issues a decree pardoning them," the president said in a statement, read out by Foreign Minister Ivaylo Kalfin at the airport.

They were greeted by their family members, the Bulgarian president, the foreign minister as well as Prime Minister Sergey Stanishev and President of the National Assembly Georgi Pirinski.

The six medics, who had been under arrest since 1999, were sentenced to death for deliberately causing an HIV outbreak at a Benghazi hospital and infecting 426 children with the virus.

But Libya's Supreme Judiciary Council on last Tuesday commuted the death sentences against them to life imprisonment.

They were allowed to return home after a delegation, including European Union Commissioner for Foreign Affairs Benita Ferrero-Waldner and chief French presidential aide Claude Gueant, visited Tripoli on Sunday to negotiate their release.

Source: Xinhua

Güncelleme Tarihi: 24 Temmuz 2007, 15:52