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Libya commutes health workers' death sentences to life imprisonment
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07:33, July 18, 2007

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Libya's highest judicial body said on Tuesday it had commuted the death sentences against six foreign health workers for infecting children with the HIV virus to life imprisonment, the pan-Arab Al-Jazeera TV reported.

Libya's Supreme Judiciary Council decided to commute the death sentences against the five Bulgarian nurses and the Palestinian doctor to life-imprisonment terms, the TV reported.

The council was set to decide whether to uphold, commute or lift the death sentences after the Supreme Court confirmed the death sentences last week against the six, who were arrested in 1999 and sentenced to death for infecting local children with HIV during experiments in a hospital in the Libyan city of Benghazi.

Al-Jazeera TV reported earlier that the families of the Libyan children infected with HIV dropped demands for the death penalty in the case of the six in return for a sum of compensation as part of a deal organized by the Gaddafi Foundation.

The foundation, run by a son of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, has been working to find a solution to the case, which has concerned Bulgaria and its allies the European Union and United States.

Relatives of more than 400 infected children were beginning to receive compensation of about 1 million dollar per child.

Libya is under pressure to free the six medical personnel, who deny infecting the children.

Source: Xinhua

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