French First Lady Cecilia Sarkozy on Thursday visited five Bulgarian nurses sentenced to death in Libya for allegedly infecting hundreds of children with HIV, France's president said. Nicolas Sarkozy told reporters that on her trip his wife was also seeing Libyan leader Col. Moammar Gadhafi and meeting children infected with HIV.
Libya's official news agency Jana said the meeting with Gadhafi had taken place but gave no details. Jana said Cecilia Sarkozy expressed her sympathy with the plight of Libyan children infected with HIV.
The trip was Cecilia Sarkozy's first appearance on the international scene since her husband took office in May. As a campaign promise, he had promised to work to free the nurses.
A day earlier, Libya's Supreme Court upheld the death sentences of the Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian doctor convicted of infecting more than 400 children with the AIDS virus. The six, who have been in Libyan custody since 1999, say they are innocent. Libyan court officials said they admitted to infecting the children, but some of the nurses have since said they confessed under beatings and torture.