Libya should end the "charade" of maintaining the guilt of the six medical workers pardoned and freed after charges of infecting hundreds of children with HIV, says this Nature editorial.
Their freedom was secured partly thanks to the efforts of several scientists, including Luc Montagnier, who helped discover HIV. They identified holes in the prosecution's case and evidence, pointing to hospital infection as the cause of the outbreak, and campaigned tirelessly.
Calls for scientific evidence to be heard at the trial proved crucial, says the editorial, because the court's refusal exposed the trial as a sham, which in turn provided a lever for public and political opinion.
President Muammar al-Gaddafi's son, Seif, is also said to have played a significant role, convinced that the outbreak was an accident and that Libya should promote healthcare and face up to its AIDS problem.
The editorial describes as "unfortunate" the plaudits Libya won in parts of the Arab world for using the case to pursue its political aims, and urges the European Union and the United States to make further strengthening of ties contingent on the government admitting the facts of the case and exonerating the six.