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Bulgaria Hopeful Nurses' Ordeal in Libya Ends 2006

Date: 30.12.2005

Bulgaria's Interior Minister Georgi Petkanov expressed the hope that the case against the five Bulgarian nurses charged with deliberately infecting over 400 Libyan children with HIV will be resolved in the first half of 2006.

Talking in an interview for the Bulgarian News Agency, Minister Petkanov said the next year will be crucial for the development of the trial.

"It is clear the Libyans themselves see that considerable progress has been made and a delay is no good," Minister Petkanov said.

On January 25 the Libyan supreme court ordered a retrial of the five Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian doctor convicted of infecting 426 children with AIDS, thus removing the immediate threat of execution.

According to Minister Petkanov the court ruling is favourable for the Bulgarian nurses.

"This is the best possible decision, but I wish the case could move forward faster," he said.

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