[JURIST] The judge presiding at the Libyan trial [JURIST news archive] of five Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian physician for allegedly infecting over 400 children with the HIV virus announced Saturday that the verdict in the case will be rendered December 19. The six medical professionals have been held prisoner by Libyan authorities since February 1999. They were originally convicted and sentenced to death [BBC report] in May 2004, but after international outcry that sentence was vacated [JURIST report] in December 2005 by the Libyan Supreme Court and remanded to a lower court to be heard again.
The defendants maintain that their alleged confessions of guilt were extracted by torture. They previously argued that the children were infected with the virus before treatment. French Professor Luc Montagnier, the co-discover of the HIV virus, testified in the 2004 trial that the infection had spread in the children's hospital before the Bulgarian nurses began their contracts there. DPA has more.