I have independent evidence that the Libyan regime is looking for a means to 'justify' the ending of the Bulgarian nurse debacle, and that they have indeed suggested that the return of Megrahi could be used for this purpose.

After the travesty of the Zeist trial (and of course the US aside in 1990, that 'our government and yours know exactly what happened but they're never going to tell'), I can well believe that the US/UK, slobbering over Libyan hydrocarbons have gone along with the idea, but might say the Libyans are fabricating the story when the Libyans use it to pacify the families of the children involved, and to justify the return of the nurses/doctor. The US/UK might well later suggest that their 'skilful diplomatic negotiations' at this time got the nurses off the hook.

(Having studied the evidence, concerning the genetics of the HIV virus involved in the Libyan cases from Dr Pybus of Oxford, it seems clear that many of the children simply could not have been infected by these nurses/doctor)

The paragraphs with yellow background below should, I believe, be read against this assessment.


Article from Financial Times

BP adviser in talks over medics detained in Libya

By Roula Khalaf and Daniel Dombey in London andAlex Barker in,Washington

Published: June 16 2007 03:00 | Last updated: June 16 2007 03:00

A former senior British intelligence officer turned BP adviser has been helping negotiate with Libya over the fate of six medics detained there - a case that could be resolved this month. Sir Mark Allen, who played a central role in the talks that led to Libya's 2003 decision to abandon weapons of mass destruction, joined the energy group as special adviser in 2005. BP last month announced a 450m ($900m, 665m) exploration deal with the Libyan government.

A key issue still casting a shadow over Libya's political and business relations with the west, however, is the fate of five Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian doctor detained in Libya since 1999. The medics were sentenced to death in December for allegedly infecting more than 400 children with the HIV virus.

International experts say the infections were caused by hygiene problems at the hospital in Benghazi rather than deliberate action by the medics.

The UK, which began talks over the case in 2005, and Germany are hoping for a breakthrough next week - before Tony Blair steps down as prime ministeron June 27 and Berlinhands over the presidencyof the European Union on June 30.

Mr Blair has twice visited Colonel Muammer Gadaffi, Libya's leader. Sir Mark, meanwhile, has mediated between the Libyans and the Bulgarians.

Diplomats say that a final deal to get the six out of Libya will involve a "humanitarian gesture" for thefamilies of the affected children and economic incentives for Libya such as debt relief.

The families would agree to have the medics' sentence commuted and for them to be either set free or to serve the remainder of their jail term in Bulgaria - a decision that would have to be endorsed by Libyan courts.

The offer was delivered by Frank-Walter Steinmeier, German foreign minister, on a visit to Libya this week. It includes aid for the Benghazi clinic and the families of the victims, alongside treatment of those infected in European hospitals.

The fund would be administered by an international board and would be open to contributions from all parties - including the US, the EU, Bulgaria and Libya itself.

Libya indicated in the past that it would consider exchanging the six medics for Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi, the Libyan national serving a life sentence in a Scottish jail for the 1988 Lockerbie bombing.

British officials insist that Mr Megrahi is not linked to the negotiations over the nurses, arguing that any decision over his fate has to be agreed by Scottish authorities.

But they note that Mr Megrahi's case is being reviewed and do not exclude the possibility that he would eventually be sent back to Libya. The UK and Libya agreed last month to begin negotiations on judicial co-operation, including prisoner transfers.

Saad Djebbar, a London-based lawyer who has worked with the Libyans on the Lockerbie case, said a resolution of the nurses case, while not tied to the fate of Mr Megrahi, "could pave the way for better prospects in the future in the Meghrahi case".

Additional reporting by Jimmy Burns and Christopher Adams in London



Dr Jim Swire (jim@swirefamily.net)