Libya Reveals Source of $$$ to Free Medical Workers

By Caroline Zimmerman,  Newser User
Posted Jul 28, 2007 1:35 PM CDT
Left to right, Bulgarian nurses Snezhana Dimitrova, Cristiana Valcheva, Valya Chervenyashka, Palestinian doctor Ashraf Hajouj, and Bulgarian nurses Valentina Siropulo and Nasya Nenova await the verdict...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Libya announced details today about the deal that freed six foreign medical workers, as it  officially protested the pardoning of the workers by the Bulgarian government, BBC reports. The group had been imprisoned in Libya since 1999 for infecting 438 children with HIV/AIDS. But international experts say there was absolutely no basis for the charges.

Libya agreed to commute the death sentences to life imprisonment if a victims' fund were  established. The money—$1 million for each child—came from Qatar, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Bulgaria, officials said. After Libya struck a deal with the EU to improve economic and economic ties, the prisoners were released and flown to Bulgaria, where they were promptly pardoned.