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Bulgaria Asks Libya To Transfer Medics

Libya commuted the medics' death sentences to life in prison (AFP) July 19, 2007 -- Bulgaria sent an official request to Libya today to extradite six foreign medical workers jailed for infecting hundreds of children with HIV.

Tripoli on July 17 commuted the medics' sentences from the death penalty to life imprisonment after a multimillion-dollar deal was agreed to compensate the families of more than 400 infected children.

Bulgaria's Foreign Ministry said it is hoping for a "swift answer." The United States and European Union have joined Bulgaria in calling for the medics to be sent home.

The five Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian doctor, who has since been granted Bulgarian citizenship, have been in jail in Libya since 1999. They say they were tortured into confessing that they infected the children with the HIV virus, and deny any guilt in the case.

(Reuters, AFP)