Millions Sought in HIV Infections Case


Monday, January 23rd 2006, 12:41 pm
By: News On 6


CAIRO, Egypt (AP) _ The families of hundreds of HIV-infected Libyan children asked for $12 million in compensation for each child Saturday as part of efforts to resolve the case of five Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian doctor charged with intentionally infecting the children.

Idris Lagha, head of the Association for the Families of the HIV-Infected Children, told The Associated Press in a telephone interview that while the request ``is a fair deal, we will also negotiate.''

Lagha said the group made the request at a meeting Saturday attended by EU and U.S. representatives and a Bulgarian organization.

Bulgaria, the U.S., Britain and the European Union have agreed with Libya to set up an international fund for the families of 426 infected children. That deal resulted in the Libyan Supreme Court decision overturning death sentences against the medical workers and ordering a retrial.

The agreement included no details on the amount of money, said Maxim Minchev, co-chairman of the Bulgarian nongovernment agency for promoting ties with Libya.

The nurses and doctor have been held in Libya since 1999. They were convicted in May 2004 on charges of intentionally infecting the children at the al-Fath Children's Hospital in Benghazi as part of an experiment to find a cure for AIDS.

Europe, the United States and human rights groups accused Libya of concocting the charges to cover up poor hygiene conditions at its hospitals they say caused the infections. The six medical workers said they were tortured to extract confessions.

Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi has been working to repair Libya's image as a rogue state, agreeing to dismantle its programs for weapons of mass destruction and to pay $2.7 billion in compensation to the families of the victims of the 1988 bombing of a Pan Am jet over Lockerbie, Scotland.