Europe

Court to deliver verdict on HIV popstar Nadja Benaissa

Nadja Benaissa in court in Darmstadt, 25 August 2010
Image caption Nadja Benaissa said she was "sorry" for hiding her HIV status

A German court is set to deliver its verdict in the trial of Nadja Benaissa, an HIV-positive German popstar accused of infecting a former partner.

Ms Benaissa, from girl band No Angels, admits having unprotected sex, but denies deliberately infecting anyone.

The 28-year-old singer is accused of causing bodily harm to one man and of two cases of attempted bodily harm.

If convicted, Ms Benaissa, who has apologised for her actions, could be jailed for up to 10 years.

At the start of her trial last week, Ms Benaissa told the court in Darmstadt, that she was "sorry from the bottom of my heart" for not warning her ex-boyfriend she was HIV-positive.

He says he became infected with HIV during their three month relationship in 2004.

'Cowardly act'

Ms Benaissa is also accused of attempted bodily harm for having sex with two other men, who were not subsequently infected.

The singer said she had not told anybody about her disease because she was afraid of the consequences for her career - which she conceded was a "cowardly act".

Both prosecutors and defence lawyers have said that Ms Benaissa should not be jailed. Instead, she should be given a two-year suspended sentence, prosecutors argued.

No Angels were formed in 2000 on the international TV show Popstars, before recording a series of hits and emerging as Germany's most successful girl band.

They re-formed in 2007 and competed in the 2008 Eurovision Song Contest, finishing 23rd.

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