SOFIA, Bulgaria -- Five Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian doctor, sentenced to death for purposely infecting Libyan children with HIV, have left Libya and received pardons.
The six medial personnel were flown out of Libya and to Sofia where Bulgarian President Georgi Parvanov pardoned the five nurses and the doctor, who was given Bulgarian citizenship, the Bulgarian news agency SNA reported.
The six people spent eight years in Libyan prisons charged with deliberately infecting more than 430 Libyan children with HIV virus in a Benghazi hospital. More than 50 of those infected have since died of AIDS.
Libyan authorities allowed the extradition of the six people after a reported international deal under which families of each infected child received $1 million, SNA said.
The High Judicial Council in Tripoli last week commuted the death sentences to life in prison for the five nurses and the doctor, who have denied the charges and claimed an HIV virus epidemic was caused by poor hygienic conditions in the Benghazi hospital.
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