Bulgaria Medics Trial: Libya Ex-Official Blames Gaddafi Regime in HIV Scandal

Society | November 6, 2016, Sunday // 10:33|  views

France's former Ambassador to Bulgaria, Etienne de Poncins, with the Bulgarian medics, who spent over eight years in Libyan prison. Photo by Sofia Photo Agency

Two high-profile officials of late Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi's regime deliberately infected more than 400 children with HIV, the notes of former Libyan PM Shukri Ghanem read, AFP says.

The development marks a U-turn in the tragic story of six Bulgarian medics in Libya accused by Gaddafi's government of deliberately infecting the children and sent to prison for eight years until 2007.

Shukri Ghanem, in office as Prime Minister between 2003 and 2005, argues in his notes that the infections were an act of hostility by the Tripoli leadership against Benghazi, a traditional strongholi of anti-Gaddafi sentiment at the time, AFP says citing French investigative website Mediapart.

Ten years on from the release of medics, jailed in 1999 and initialy sentenced to death, Ghanem argues he was visited in 2007 by a Libyan official heading the inquiry committee that looked into the release of Bulgarian medics and a Palestinian doctor whom the regime also blamed for the tragedy.

It quotes the official as saying Abdullah Senussi, the former intelligence chief under Gaddafi, admitted to having obtained samples of the virus alongside then military intelligence head Moussa Koussa.

The children were not from Benghazi but from a town near Tripoli, the notes also read.

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Tags: Libya, Bulgarian medics, Benghazi, HIV, Muammar Gaddafi


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