Bulgaria Nationalist Leader, MP Released on Bail after 'Unlawful Arrest'
The Sofia City Court (SCC) has ruled nationalist leader Volen Siderov and a party member Desislav Chukolov should be released on bail only several hours after having been detained on Tuesday.
Siderov and Chukolov are facing charges of hooliganism. They were indicted and taken into custody for 72 hours upon arrival at the Sofia Investigation Office on Tuesday.
However, SCC magistrates said on Tuesday their arrest was illegal as no evidence suggested they would try to hide out or again commit an offense - the two requirements for a detention request issued by prosecution to be complied with, 24 Chasa daily reports.
The same argument was voiced by Bulgaria's Prime Minister Boyko Borisov who, asked by reporters to comment on the developments, said the two should not have been detained at all. Borisov then made clear he was not interfering in the judiciary's decisions, but was just sharing his opinion as "a police officer" (he was the Interior Ministry's Chief Secretary early in the 2000s).
Siderov and Chukolov were indicted with charges of hooliganism (over their intrusion into a higher education institution's building in downtown Sofia) and coercion (a similar incident two nights earlier, with Siderov also allegedly twisting the arm of a girl).
However, under the SCC's ruling charges of coercion were dropped.
Prosecutors on Tuesday asserted there was enough ground to comply with the detention request, saying the two were clearly demonstrating a "feeling of impunity" and have regularly displayed criminal habits, therefore running the risk of committing a new offense.
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