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Last Updated: Saturday, 28 July 2007, 15:27 GMT 16:27 UK
Libya details medic release deal
Libyan Prime Minister Baghdadi Mahmudi
Libya's PM gave details of the agreement signed with the EU
Libya has given details about the deal that led to the release of six foreign medics found guilty of deliberately infecting 438 children with HIV/Aids.

It said backing for a fund for the victims had come mainly from the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Slovakia and Qatar.

Libya's prime minister has condemned Bulgaria for pardoning the medics - who always protested their innocence - as soon as they arrived in the country.

The six were freed last week after Libya reached a deal with the EU.

There has been much speculation about who contributed to the Benghazi International Fund, which provided $1m (500,000) for each of the infected children.

A Bulgarian nurse is greeted by a relative upon arrival at Sofia airport

At a news conference, Prime Minister Baghdadi Mahmudi said the Libyan government had not contributed, saying the money had primarily come from Qatar, Slovakia, Bulgaria and the Czech Republic. He did not specify the size of the contributions.

He said France had promised to provide equipment for the new hospital in the second city Benghazi, where the infections took place, and provide training for Libyan medical staff over five years.

Visa rules

Earlier this month, Libya commuted to life imprisonment the death sentences imposed on the five Bulgarian nurses and the Palestinian-born doctor after the families of the infected children agreed to the compensation deal.

The medics' release to Bulgaria was made possible by a deal struck in Tripoli on improving Libya-EU ties, following years of negotiations.

The BBC's Rana Jawad in Tripoli says that as part of the deal the EU is set to significantly ease restrictions on visas for citizens, which could see Libyans obtain them within 48 hours.

But Bulgaria's decision to pardon the medics has angered the Libyans. Libyan officials said on Saturday they had sent a memo to the Arab League calling for action against Sofia as well as a protest to the EU.

The authorities said Bulgaria was in violation of international law and their bilateral agreement with Libya on prisoner exchange.

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