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Nurses, MD Deny Guilt in HIV Case

July 05, 2006|From Reuters

TRIPOLI, Libya — Five Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian doctor denied infecting hundreds of Libyan children with HIV, saying Tuesday at their retrial that they had been beaten or tortured to make them confess.

"I am innocent," Nasya Nenova said at the hearing's first full day of testimony. "This is a scenario constructed by the police."

Nenova, Snezhana Dimitrova, Valentina Siropolu, Christiana Valcheva, Valia Cherveniashka and Ashraf Alhajouj denied conspiring to knowingly infect more than 390 children with HIV at a hospital in Benghazi.

Four prosecution witnesses were heard, including parents who said they became suspicious after seeing the healthcare workers inject children.

The six had been sentenced to death after their first trial, but the convictions were overturned in December.

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