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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
04TRIPOLI27
2004-12-13 00:10:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Tripoli
Cable title:  

(C) BULGARIAN MEDICS UPDATE

Tags:   PHUM  PREL  BU  LY  XA  XF  XI 
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O 130010Z DEC 04
FM USLO TRIPOLI
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0028
INFO AMEMBASSY ALGIERS IMMEDIATE 
AMEMBASSY CAIRO IMMEDIATE 
EU MEMBER STATES
AMEMBASSY RABAT IMMEDIATE 
AMEMBASSY SOFIA IMMEDIATE 
USLO TRIPOLI 
AMEMBASSY TUNIS IMMEDIATE
						C O N F I D E N T I A L TRIPOLI 000027 


E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/12/2014
TAGS: PHUM PREL BU LY XA XF XI
SUBJECT: (C) BULGARIAN MEDICS UPDATE

CLASSIFIED BY: Gregory L. Berry, Chief of Mission, USLO,
Tripoli. REASON: 1.4 (b), (d)




1. (C) Status of Medics: The five Bulgarian medics sentenced to
death for infecting over 400 Libyan children with HIV-tainted
blood in a Benghazi hospital are being kept relatively secluded,
the Bulgarian Embassy's Dimitar Dimitrov told us December 7.
Dimitrov personally speculates this is because members of a
Committee on Prison Reform (possibly part of a Libyan initiative
to review internal procedures in a number of areas, including
prisons) have been visiting the prison and the prison
authorities do not want committee members to have contact with
the Bulgarians. Libyan authorities turned Dimitrov away on
December 7 when he tried to visit the medics; in the past,
prison authorities had allowed Dimitrov to visit more or less
whenever he wished. Meanwhile, the Palestinian doctor who also
received the death sentence has been moved to newer area of the
Abu Salim Prison where all six are being held. Libyan
authorities allowed his family (four sisters and mother) to
visit him within the past few days; his mother had not seen him
for some time, since a prison guard insulted her and she refused
to return to the prison.



2. (C) State of Appeal: The medics' appeal case is now pending
with the Neeaba Office (which means "prosecution"), a
consultative body within the Supreme Court that reviews all the
evidence for a trial and appeal, examines the case profile, and
prepares a report that is presented to judges for review,
Dimitrov reported. Libyan prosecutors are still protesting the
acquittal of one of the Bulgarians, a doctor who is married to
one of the convicted medics. According to Dimitrov, the
acquitted doctor could be asked to return to prison, which could
cause serious problems since he is currently living in the
Bulgarian Embassy in Tripoli. (Note: The doctor remains in
Tripoli because of his wife, and because Libyan authorities have
refused to grant him an exit visa to leave Libya pending the
outcome of the appeal. End note.)



3. (C) Bulgarian Embassy Reaction to Recent Libyan Public
Statements: The Bulgarian government was surprised by the
December 5 news reports of Libyan FM Shalgam's statement that
Libya would review the death penalty for the Bulgarian medics if
Bulgaria provides compensation to the victim's families,
Dimitrov said. He reiterated Bulgaria's position that payment
of compensation is not an option, since Bulgaria will not agree
to deal directly with the families, and because it is an
admission of guilt. The Bulgarians view Qadhafi son Saif
al-Islam's statement in a December 9 New York Times article that
"no one is going to execute anyone" as unofficial.



4. (C) Libyan Demands to EU: Ramadan Al Fituri, head of the
association representing the families of the 426 HIV-infected
children, presented settlement demands to the European
Commission representatives currently visiting Libya. According
to Dimitrov, the families want the Bulgarian government to build
a hospital and provide compensation, medical care and full
support for the children for the rest of their lives. Dimitrov
says the Bulgarian government did not directly receive a copy of
the letter.


BERRY