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Libyan leader's son admits medics' torture

Saif al-Islam Qaddafi also acknowledged the innocence of former imprisoned Bulgarian nurses and Palestinian doctor.

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Less than a month after the Libyans freed the five Bulgarian nurses and one Palestinian doctor accused of infecting children with HIV/AIDS, Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi's son, Saif al-Islam announced on Al Jazeera Wednesday that the medics had been tortured and acknowledged their innocence. Though Saif Qaddafi promises democratic elections after the elder Gadhafi steps down, many observers believe that he will likely succeed his father. His latest move has been seen by many as an attempt to show the West a new, more open Libya.

Since arriving in Bulgaria, Palestinian doctor Ashraf al-Hazouz has been particularly outspoken about the ways in which Libyan officials tortured him in order to extract a confession, reports The Daily Telegraph.

Col Gadhafi's son was responding to claims by Dr. al-Hazouz, that Libyan authorities used drugs and attached electrodes to his feet and genitals in a bid to extract a confession.
He added that the authorities set dogs on the prisoners, tied him to a bar and spun him repeatedly, like a chicken on a rotisserie.

While Saif denies that Libya will face any legal action for their treatment of the Bulgarians and the Palestinian, he admits they were tortured. He also added that conflicting reports had been given to Libyan judges, which inhibited them from accurately concluding that the group was innocent. The six medical workers spent eight years in prison and were at one time sentenced to death before they were released on July 24, reports Al Jazeera.

In an interview on Wednesday, Qaddafi said: "Yes, they were tortured by electricity and they were threatened that their family members would be targeted. But a lot of what the Palestinian doctor has claimed are merely lies."

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