Questioning of Bulgarian Medics in Tripoli Hasn't Started Yet, Lawyer Osman Bizanti Says.
Tripoli, June 15 (BTA) - The competent Libyan authorities have not started questioning the six Bulgarian medical workers, accused of intentionally infecting about 400 Libyan children with HIV, BTA learned from the defendants' Libyan lawyer Osman Bizanti on Saturday.
This may be done on Sunday or in the coming days.
Only the Palestinian Ashraf al-Hadjudj has been questioned so far.
His confessions have formed a basis for most charges against the Bulgarians.
The president of the Arraignment Chamber in Benghazi ordered on June 12 that the case record be returned to Tripoli for further consideration, and that the Bulgarians be questioned further. Bizanti told BTA he met with the defendants' Bulgarian lawyer Plamen Yalnuzov two days ago. They discussed the procedure of constituting the latter as counsel in the new case.
Bizanti promised full cooperation for the timely and successful completion of this procedure.
The two lawyers consider it a good sign that the judge ordered a further investigation into the infection of children with HIV in the Benghazi hospital.
Bizanti told BTA earlier that his presence at the questioning depended on the competent Libyan authorities, but that as soon as he was notified, he was ready to make every effort and have a lawyer from his law firm attend the questioning.
The presence of a lawyer during questioning is not compulsory under Libyan law.
Yalnuzov met with the six Bulgarians in Tripoli and explained the functions of the Arraignment Chamber and the judge's order for further questioning.
Nurses Kristiana Vulcheva, Nassya Nenova, Valya Chervenyashka, Valentina Siropoulo, Snezhana Dimitrova and doctor Zdravko Georgiev were arrested in February 1999. A year later they were charged with conspiracy against the Libyan State, intentionally infecting Libyan children with HIV and breaking the conventions of life in Libya. The People's Court, which tried the case, quashed the conspiracy charges on February 17, 2002, and transferred the case to a criminal court.
European Affairs Minister: Bulgaria Should Make Nationally Responsible Decision about Kozloduy N-Plant.
Sofia, June 15 (BTA) - Meglena Kouneva, Minister for European Affairs, said a nationally responsible decision should be made about the Kozloduy nuclear power plant. She commented in a Radio NET interview on Saturday action brought by trade unions at the plant to the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg against the European Commission's demand for early closure of the smaller units.
"I cannot say whether the European Commission will react, and what its reaction could be," Kouneva said. The decision-makers should focus on the diversification of Bulgaria's energy portfolio, the energy strategy and nuclear energy safety.
Kouneva recalled that Bulgaria received assistance to enhance nuclear safety.
"Even if we assume that only the Bulgarian position on the time frame for closure of Units Three and Four, 2008 and 2010, as set in the memorandum, should be considered, we do not have the resources to decommission the reactors," Kouneva said.
Interviewed by Radio NET, Andre Maisseu, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the World Council of Nuclear Workers, said it was a shame to close "one of the best nuclear power plants, which has taken some of the best safety measures".
"We live in democratic times, with a free market, and there is no reason whatsoever why the Kozloduy plant should be closed.
It is a shame to place Bulgaria in such a difficult position in the energy sector," Maisseu said.
Five trade unions at the Kozloduy plant and the World Council of Nuclear Workers brought action at the European Court of Justice on June 10 against what they said was an unlawful demand of the European Commission for early decommissioning of the smaller units of the Kozloduy nuclear power plant.
Orthodox Christians and Catholics Must Leave Nothing Unsaid to Build Constructive Dialogue, Sofia University Philosophers Say.
Sofia, June 15 (BTA) - According to popular misconceptions about relations between Catholics and Orthodox Christians before, during and after Pope John Paul II's visit to Bulgaria, the difference between the two churches is insignificant and it is the Orthodox Christians who spurn the Catholics' offer of communication, said Assoc. Prof. Kalin Yanakiev of the St Kliment Ohridski University of Sofia. He took part in a debate on "What Happened When Pope John Paul II Visited Bulgaria?", organized by the Red House Centre for Culture and Debate.
It is believed that the only differences between Catholicism and Orthodox Christianity are in terms of rituals, culture, and theological and philosophical discourse, Yanakiev said. It is held that today's Catholics are ready to fully accept the Orthodox Christians, but the latter turn the differences into insuperable obstacles, he said. It is generally believed that "intelligent Catholicism" has put differences between the two churches behind, but the Orthodox Christians are just being stubborn.
However, the differences are dogmatic - in the realm of church discipline, liturgy, Mariology (the systematic study of the figure of Mary) - and are very important for believers, Yanakiev said.
Yanakiev argued against the claim that the Catholics are ready to accept the Orthodox Christians out of sheer good will, because even if the good will is there, it cannot obliterate the differences.
Moreover, the Catholic Church stated in a document in 2000 it is the only Church of Christ and there is no other, which raises the question: what is the Orthodox Church then?
Still, the Catholic Church is trying to put its convictions as mildly as possible, presuming that there may be a grain of truth in the other Christian churches, too. However, this line of argument leads to the conclusion that Orthodox Christians are partly Catholics because they recognize some of the tenets of the Catholic Church, Yanakiev said. As to good will, it is in the claim that Orthodox Christians can be saved if they are in communion with the Bishop of Rome.
In 1965 the Second Council of the Vatican declared Orthodox Christians schismatics, but the sin of their separation was recognized as inherited, which made them "partly schismatic", Yanakiev explained. This is the furthest Catholics can go in their delicacy. "But why can't Orthodox Christians act as delicately as that?" Yanakiev asked.
The answer is that the attitude of Orthodox Christianity is fraught with distrust, stemming from the things Catholicism has left unsaid.
For all their delicacy, the Catholics anathematize everyone who does not recognize the equality of the bishops. They just stop short of declaring the Orthodox Christians heretics.
Granted this ambiguous position, which also applies to Pope John Paul II as the Bishop of Rome, the Bulgarian Orthodox Church could not have given him a warm embrace, Yanakiev said.
What Patriarch Maksim of Bulgaria did was extremely well thought out as a way of stating a shared wish for dialogue, said Assoc. Prof. Georgi Kapriev of Sofia University.
However, dialogue between Orthodox Christianity and Catholicism is not held between patriarchs, but between specialists, such as theologians and philosophers, if it is to be constructive, according to Kapriev.
Indeed, there are great differences between the two churches, which cannot be overcome with civilities or compromises; dialogue may last for hundreds of years, the point is to have dialogue, according to Kapriev. Notwithstanding the differences, there should be no alienation or mutual rejection between the two churches because Christians are on their way to becoming a minority in the contemporary world.
"I am confident that the right course to pursue is very careful, well-intentioned dialogue," Kapriev said. He views the Pontiff's visit as a positive step towards this dialogue within the general framework of tolerance.
Yanakiev countered that constructive dialogue would become possible when nothing was left unsaid.