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Defender of Bulgarian nurses takes on Swiss case

A French lawyer who helped secure the release of five Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian doctor from a Libyan prison will now defend two Swiss nationals held in Tripoli.

Emmanuel Altit is expected to travel to Libya in the next few days to work alongside a Libyan attorney to defend Max Göldi and Rachid Hamdani.

His knowledge of the Libyan system could help move the case of Göldi and Hamdani forward, analysts said.

The Bulgarians and Palestinian were imprisoned for eight years and sentenced to death by a Libyan court for deliberately conspiring to infect hundreds of children with HIV. They were freed and extradited in 2007.

On Sunday, Libya postponed an appeals hearing on visa violation charges for Hamdani, since the businessman failed to appear in court. It is unclear whether Göldi’s hearing set for Thursday will go ahead.

The two men were arrested in July 2008 only days after Geneva police briefly detained Moammar Gaddafi’s son Hannibal on charges that he and his wife had abused their domestic staff while staying at a luxury hotel in the Swiss city. Göldi and Hamdani are now residing at the Swiss embassy in Tripoli.

They are also facing charges of business and tax violations. and agencies

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