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Libya Foreign Medics Timeline

The medics in court at their retiral in June 2006 (epa) July 11, 2007 (RFE/RL) -- Libya’s Supreme Court has upheld the death sentences for five Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian doctor convicted of knowingly infecting 426 children with HIV. Following is a timeline of key events in the long-running case:

July 11, 2007: Libya's Supreme Court upholds the death penalty against the six medics after an appeal.

June 11, 2007: German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and European Union External Relations Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner hold talks in Libya to try to secure the medics' release. The son of Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi, Saif al-Islam, describes the initiative as "positive."

December 2006: A Libyan court again sentences the six to death.

January 2006: The victims' families demand $5.9 billion to settle the case.

December 2005: After repeated calls for restitution from victims’ families, Bulgaria and Libya agree to set up a fund for relatives of the infected Libyan children. Soon after, the Libyan Supreme Court overturns the convictions and orders a retrial of the six medics.

June 2005: Nine Libyan police officers and a Libyan doctor are acquitted of torturing the nurses in custody.

May 2004: Libya sentences the five Bulgarian nurses and Palestinian doctor to death. A Bulgarian doctor is released and nine Libyan defendants are acquitted.

September 2003: French doctor and HIV/AIDS authority Luc Montagnier testifies that the hospital epidemic broke out a year before the arrival of the Bulgarians.

September 2000: The six Bulgarians and one Palestinian plead not guilty. Amnesty International reports "serious irregularities in pre-trial proceedings."

Summer 2000: The trial is repeatedly postponed amidst allegations of torture by the Bulgarians.

February 2000: Five Bulgarian female nurses and a Bulgarian male doctor, along with a Palestinian doctor and nine Libyans, go on trial in Tripoli on charges of deliberately infecting hundreds of children.

February 1999: Nineteen Bulgarian medical workers are arrested at a hospital in the Libyan city of Benghazi after an outbreak of HIV among the children being treated there. Thirteen are later freed.