Jailed Medics Freed, Pardoned

After eight years, the nurses go home
By Sam Gale Rosen,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 24, 2007 7:15 AM CDT
Bulgarian nurses Valia Georgieva Chervenisahka, second left, Nasia Stoitcheva Nenova, second right, and Snezhana Dimitrova, right, pose after their arrival in the Bulgarian capital Sofia, Tuesday, July,...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Six medics imprisoned by Libya on charges of infecting children with HIV are finally free today. EU officials struck a deal with Libya after years of negotiations, and the five nurses and one doctor were extradited to Bulgaria, where they were immediately pardoned by the Bulgarian president. In return, the EU will begin to normalize trade and political dealings with Libya.

The medics had been imprisoned for eight years, after confessing under torture to deliberately infecting hundreds of children with HIV-tainted blood. Last week their death sentences were commuted to life in prison. Nicolas Sarkozy, whose wife Cecila met with Lybian President Muammar Gaddafi, said he would visit Libya tomorrow to discuss normalization.