Bulgaria's Notorious 'Octopus' Freed on Bail
Notorious Bulgarian businessman Aleksei Petrov, who is tried on numerous counts for organized crime, has been released on a bail of BGN 10 000.
Sofia Court of Appeals took that decision Friday, a week after Sofia City Court released the alleged gang leader from detention to house arrest, citing Petrov's deteriorating health condition.
The court also decided that the prosecution's claim that if Petrov is released from arrest, he would influence witnesses, lacks substantiation.
Aleksei Petrov was arrested in February 2010 in a much-publicized special operation by Bulgaria's police, codenamed Octopus.
Bulgarian PM Boyko Borisov and Minister of Interior Tsvetan Tsvetanov did much to portray Petrov as the mastermind of an extensive organized crime network.
The trial against Petrov has however dragged for months with little progress, and with the prosecution forced to drop part of the charges against him.
In the early 1990s, Petrov was a business partner of Borisov. He has also served time as an agent in Bulgaria's special services, including newly founded DANS.
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