Bulgaria: Failing to Target True Shields Case Culprit
The pardoning and release of Michael Shields has received a very mixed reception in Bulgaria this week and although the Liverpool public might not understand why, a mixed reception is the best the UK Justice Minister could have expected.
With his announcement on Wednesday Jack Straw really should have opened a can of worms and you can tell he knows it by the length of the statement giving reasons for his decision. The Bulgarian government however failed to react. I state this not because of the Shields pardoning but because of the admittance of guilt of another UK citizen - Graham Sankey.
For many reasons Straw picked the perfect time to make his announcement; He immediately snuffed out the challenge of Michael Shield's father who would have won a huge amount of popular support if he had done as had threatened to do and run against him in future elections. Straw also caught the new center-right Bulgarian government at a time when they are out to impress Europe in an attempt to win back millions of euros worth of frozen EU funds - part of which were stopped because of Bulgaria's failing justice system.
The following three reactions really do sum up the views on the case of the majority of Bulgarians - completely mixed:
a) The reaction of the former socialist government Foreign Affairs Minister and Deputy PM, Ivaylo Kalfin, was very critical he said he was very shocked by the decision and that it "gave a very bad signal to football hooliganism".
b) On the other hand a Justice Ministry statement seemed to have surprisingly little to say; "The act of granting a pardon is in line with the regulations of the European Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons and it was up to the British authorities to take their own decision."
c) Lazar Gruev, chairman of the Supreme Cassation Court, seemed to praise the decision: "The granting of a pardon is an act of state mercy. Each of us has to have mercy for the victim, but also respect for the court," Gruev said, adding that the United Kingdom has one of the longest traditions in the exercise of this rare power."
However perhaps the most vital reaction, or should I say lack of reaction, in this case is not from a Bulgarian or Shields but rather from the person who should currently be in jail - Graham Sankey. Now Shields is out and is a free man no one seems to have turned their attention to the serious matter of Sankey being allowed to get off without so much as a scolding. Sankey himself has admitted that he attacked Bulgarian barman Martin Georgiev, leaving him fighting for his life in 2005 - what more need I say.
The truth is that if the Bulgarian judicial system and government was more confident and was not recovering slowly from years of corruption and neglect, Sankey would be a targeted man. Sadly though the alleged true culprit in this case, which is not the Bulgarian Justice system and may well not be Shields, is now going to escape from his deserved place behind bars!
Did you read Michael Schields(such a stupid name! In German language it means "sign")
As I read in SOFOA ECHO some years ago, the WITNESSES were NOT as YOU say
DOORMEN but there were many guests and bypassers,who witnessed the fight among
the LIVERPOOL hooligans.
AND WHAT IS THIS ALLEGATION THAT A BULGARIAN POLICE OGFFICER WENT ON
HOLIDAYS TO Turkey?
And he was boasting to YOU,DEAR FRIENDS OF LIVERPOOL, that he was bribed?!
YOU OUGHT TO HAVE A BLOOSSOMING FANTASY!
Everything you say is ONLY a HEARSAY and JUST GOSSIP!
just to say i thought this artical was very good ,but would like to point out some mistakes about this attack on martin georgiev ,firstly 20 witnesses ,would 20 bulgarians most of whom were doormen realy stand by and watch three thugs attack martin georgiev ,are the cowards or liers,secondly the original statement made by the victim says he did not see who throw the rock as he was unconciouse,the only reason i can think of him claiming it was michael is the compensation ,we have been told he only recieved ВЈ10,000 of the ВЈ93,000 paid ,shud this case be investigated ,and michael found totaly inocent of this crime who would pay the compensation back ,are your readers aware of one the policemen involved in michaels arrest ,who was on holiday in turkey with his mistress boasting of how much money they recieved to let the real thug go ,and how they went and arrested michael knowing he was totaly innocent he was also boasting how he punched and kicked michael till michael was fighting for his breath,we have statements and photo,s of this police on that holiday ,michael has passed a lie detector test ,he as been given a pardon in britain ,but is still fighting for justice in bulgaria, does this sound like a guilty man
Long time no see!
" As the perpetrator is an adult,the only exuse would be if he was MENTALLY INCAPABLE."
Yes, agreed. Being drunk is being mentally incapable. This kid was allowed by the barman to get drunk to the point of mental incapacity.
hELLO Brit in BG,
you are right about saying,that the VENUE of the crime determines usually the JURISDICTION OF A COURT.
Neverthelesthe Rules of CRIMINAL PROCEDURE allow the transfer of jurisdiction to
another court,mostly the residence of the suspect.
This is done ALL THE TIME IN USA...to save judicial costs.
A Court in Bahamas,e.g. could have a jurisdiction over an actus reus,commited by
a foreign citizen,despite the fact that the crime was commited on the soil of Canada,e.g.
As for Sankey,the UK General attorney could initiate investigations,if he had had sufficient forensic evidence.
As the BG Police did not arrest Sankey,there is no a docie(file)on him.
Scotland yard was NOT in this time on the cime scene ...how could they start a trial against Sankey?
Nellie of AMERICA,
you ought to get the book "CRIMINAL LAW...American legal case studies) by WEST Publishing Corporation and study the Chapter about
EXUSES IN CRIMINAL LAW.
In NO ONE jurisdiction...either Anglo-Saxon or GERMAN or BULGARIAN or UK or CYPRIOT
DRUNKENES IS EXUSE FOR COMMITING A CRIME!
If someone throws a stone on the head of helpless human-being...it is NOT accident...
IT IS A CRIMINAL ACT!
As the perpetrator is an adult,the only exuse would be if he was MENTALLY INCAPABLE.
Say what? So the barman WASN'T injured and the whole fracas DIDN'T happen - is this the "non-existent" crime?
No-one was murdered, that's true enough, but to talk of someone spending 4 years in the slammer for a crime which "didn't happen" is nothing short of meaningless verbiage. To ensure that justice IS done, I've no major objection to banging them both up frankly, but since Shields has done his 4 years then let Straw send Sankey out for an all-expenses-paid stay at the Bulgarian state's expense..
If you were to punish everyone for what MIGHT have happened IF.....everyone in the world would be sitting in prison.
The bottom line is that there is NO victim dead or handicapped and the guy did serve 4 years already for a non-existent crime. What MIGHT have happened is not legally punishable.
"An accident"? Yeah, like if I "accidentally" throw a paving slab at someone and "accidentally" don't kill him?
The fact that this lout DIDN'T kill someone is the only accident in this case and sadly it appears that he has learned nothing from his "ordeal" other than the fact that he can become a red-top hero and make money from being a hooligan.....
" so quite how Straw can be "satisfied" with the facts he claims to have been presented with is a matter for conjecture."
There is a girl who claims that Shields was in her bed when the alleged attack took place. That's how.
Anyway, the victim is not dead or handicapped. Four years is enough time to serve for an accident.
Oh dear - is this where I get "suicided" from the site?
I read that Mr Rowlands is an "expert translator" and "proof reader"....with the greatest of respect, Mr R, if you're going to put your writing in front of the world, might one suggest that you check your English syntax and then proof-read the resulting text?
As for the content, it seems to be a rehash of what everyone already knows and very handily omits the "inconvenient truth" that Sankey retracted his confession. The "confession" which prompted the pardon was allegedly made to Shield's family and appears to fly in the face of the testimony of many eye-witnesses, so quite how Straw can be "satisfied" with the facts he claims to have been presented with is a matter for conjecture.
" Maybe the true culprit should make an anonymous donation? But, I suspect that whoever actually did it has no honour!"
Look, the kids were drunk, it was dark, rocks were thrown...No one knows for sure who hit what. I honestly believe that the real perpetrator is not even aware that he was the one who hit the Bulgarian.