Hopes Raised for Bulgarians on Death Row in Malaysia
Malaysian PM Najib Razak has assured Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev that death sentences have not been carried out recently.
The two officials met during the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM-9) summit in Laos and discussed the case of the two Bulgarian men recently sentenced to death for drug trafficking in the Asian country.
"Malaysia's judicial system is an independent institution," Plevneliev has told reporters, explaining that the country's Prime Minister would not intervene in the case.
However, Razak has told the Bulgarian President that drug traffic-related death sentences have not been carried out recently in Malaysia, since the country is pending amendments that would modernize its legislation.
On May 18, 2011, Bulgarian nationals Georgi Georgiev, Ivan Kostov, and Georgi Bakalov were arrested at the Sultan Ismail International Airport in Johor Bahru, Malaysia, on drug trafficking charges.
Due to the lack of evidence for his involvement into the crime, Georgi Georgiev was released and deported to Bulgaria.
Kostov and Bakalov were sentenced to death at the end of October. They insist they were unaware they were transporting illegal drugs, and were told the package included Viagra and other pills.