Jana Hybášková, Czech MEP with the European People’s Party (EPP), has claimed that Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico deliberately used the term "perpetrators" when referring to the Bulgarian nurses and Palestinian doctor who have been condemned to death in Libya.
Hybášková and three other members of the EPP said at a press conference on March 15 that Fico’s choice of words was not a simple slip of the tongue, but rather had been chosen as a show of support for his host, Libyan leader Colonel Gaddafi, in return for which he hoped to be able to sell Libya military equipment.
Hybášková said that the EU’s official stance on the situation states that the presumption of innocence applies in the case of the Bulgarian nurses and the Palestinian doctor whom the Libyan Court have sentenced to death for allegedly deliberately infecting Libyan children with HIV.
In their letter, Hybášková, MEP Charles Tannock from Britain, MEP Gunnar Hokmar from Sweden and MEP Michael Gaer from Germany called on Fico to respect the EU’s position on the case, retract the word "perpetrators" from his statements and send his regrets to the defendants.
Fico responded by saying the letter was part of the agenda of a group of MEPs who do not have anything better to do.
Shortly before his trip to Libya, Fico decided to address the subject of the Bulgarian nurses with Gaddafi. However, when he did he referred to them as “perpetrators”, legitimizing the Libyan judicial system and the nurses’ condemnation.
When attacked by the media afterwards, he explained that the word he had used was the proper legal term for the nurses.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
16. Mar 2007 at 12:25