Bulgaria and the defence of the detained Bulgarian medical workers in Lybia are sticking to their request for an international expert examination, which was not granted at the latest sitting of the Libyan court. Anton Girginov, a member of the interdepartmental working group on the case, told a news conference last week. The six Bulgarian medical workers stand trial in Libya for infecting 393 Libyan children with the HIV virus. The charges carry death on conviction.
"The request is not prompted by a wish to internationalize the trial or by mistrust in the Libyan court, it is prompted by doubts about the scientific knowledge of AIDS," said Girginov. The highest authorities, working in Libya and elsewhere should study the facts to reveal the truth, he said. The request for an expert examination may be reiterated.
Once the defence has studied the entire case record, it may substantiate its request better and a new adjournment may be requested, Girginov said. The trial has been adjourned several times at the request of the defence. It has been set to recommence on 17 September.
Bulgaria was the first stop of the European tour of the Chinese Prime Minister, Zhu Rongji, on Friday last week. It is the first visit to Bulgaria by a Chinese premier since the collapse of Communism. Several agreements were signed in the areas of transport, employment, the environment, education and health. Mr Rongji spent two days in Sofia before going on to Germany.
Bulgaria, Turkey, Georgia, Romania, Russia and Ukraine signed a letter of intent in Ankara last week on the establishment of a Black Sea Naval Cooperation Task Group (BLACKSEAFOR). The BLACKSEAFOR will be responsible for conducting joint humanitarian missions as well as search and rescue operations in the Black Sea. In a joint statement, issued following the ceremony, the six countries confirmed that the purpose of this initiative is to contribute to further strengthening friendship, good relations and mutual understanding in the Black Sea.
Bulgaria's economy grew at a faster pace in the first quarter than in the previous one, the
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The World Bank has approved a USD 63.3 million loan for a project in Bulgaria that will help the government revamp its health sector, designed to improve access to quality health services and ensure financial and operational stability. The Health Sector Reform Project is part of an overall Framework Program for health reform which includes substantial government investments, as well as technical assistance support from other external agencies.
Bulgaria's government last week decided to privatise its second national television channel. The channel has been off the air since 1997, when the Bulgarian government stopped subsidies and its Russian operators did not apply for a broadcasting license. The State Communications Commission (SCC) will launch the competition for a 15-year license by publishing an invitation to investors in a local newspaper, an SCC spokeswoman said. Bulgaria's first private television channel with nationwide coverage is owned by Rupert Murdoch's media company News Corp Ltd and began broadcasting on 1 June.
Nadia Rozeva Green, 30 June 2000
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