Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Extortion by any other name...

Un-freakin'-believable. Well, actually, it's all too believable, unfortunately.

The six medical professionals (five Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian physician) held by Libya since 1999 have had their death penalties lifted. The six were accused of deliberately infecting children with HIV, even though visiting HIV experts concluded that the infection was from poor hospital hygiene.

So, did the Libyan authorities suddenly decide that the doctor and nurses were, in fact, innocent? Uh, not exactly...the change of heart was prompted by the payment of $460 million to the families of the infected children.
The announcement came after the families of the infected children confirmed they had received compensation payments totalling $460 million (£230 million). Idriss Lagha, a spokesman for the victims' families, said: "All the families received the compensation money. They are now signing documents saying they got the compensation and accept the High Judicial Council to take the decision it sees appropriate." He said each family would receive $1 million.
Of course, there's absolutely no chance that any money went to Qaddafi's government (or to Qaddafi himself!)...I'm absolutely certain that none of the families signed those documents under duress.

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