Brazil-Jailed Bulgarian Champ Lost in Translation
The defense of Bulgaria's former Olympic weightlifting champion Galabin Boevski, who was detained at the end of October in Brazil and accused of carrying nine kilos of cocaine in his luggage, can't find a licensed translator in the South American country.
"We have prepared forty documents to present to the court in Boevski's defense. Before that, however they must be translated and certified by a licensed translator. Unfortunately the Bulgarian state has not organized a single competition for such a translator in Sao Paulo over the last seven years," Sofia-based lawyer Ivaylo Dermendzhiev complained.
"I am afraid that if there is no certification by a licensed translator, Brazilian courts may not accept the documents and will deliver a much harsher sentence on Boevski," he added.
Dermendzhiev is determined to press for Boevski's extradition and eventual trial in Bulgaria, citing the International Convention on Psychotropic Substances, which the two countries have signed and which has supremacy over state laws.
The lawyer's statement clashes with the opinion of Bulgarian high-ranking officials, who have ruled out the extradition of Galabin Boevski to his home country, saying there is no prisoner transfer agreement between Bulgaria and Brazil.
There is still no indictment against Boevski, who claims he is not guilty.
The defense will demand that he is released on bail and accommodated at the apartment of a Bulgarian lady in Sao Paulo, who has offered to rent out one of the rooms to the former champion.
If found guilty no matter whether in Bulgaria or Brazil, Boevski could face up to 15 years in prison.
The 36-year-old Boevski won the gold medal at the 2000 Sydney Olympics in the 152-pound category. He was banned for eight years by the International Weightlifting Federation for doping in 2004.