Bulgarian MP Offers to Defend Dogan's Attacker Pro Bono
A Bulgarian lawyer and Member of the Parliament from the conservative Order, Law and Justice party, RZS, is offering to defend pro bono the man who attacked with a gas pistol ethnic Turkish leader, Ahmed Dogan.
RZS MP, Emil Vasilev, sent the offer as an open letter to the media Sunday.
In it, Vasilev notes that many politicians in Bulgaria, led by inertia, have declared the incident a terror act stirring ethnic hatred in the country, while the prosecution hurried to say it was a murder attempt without analyzing any evidence and information about the attacker, only to backtrack the statement later.
"It is obvious that the man cannot expect a fair trial, so I offer to defend him pro bono. I also want to remind everyone that Dogan is a former agent of the Communist State Security, DS, and a former very close and very personal friend of the late Iliya Pavlov. In 1997, he went so far as to state in the Parliament that his party's main task was to defend the interests of Pavlov's business empire Multigroup. On this background, to declare a Communist agent and a known mobster the greatest politician of Bulgaria and a political victim is cynical," Vasilev writes.
On Saturday, police in Bulgaria detained a man after he pointed a gun at Dogan as he was delivering a speech in the capital Sofia. No shots were fired. The man was identified as Oktay Enimehmedov, a 25-year-old ethnic Turkish resident of the city of Burgas, with a previous criminal record for assault and theft.
It emerged Sunday that the man did not actually want to kill the former leader and now Honorary Chairman of the Movement for Rights and Freedoms, DPS, but to scare him. It was also reported that some years ago, Oktay changed his life and became interested in politics.
He started attending meetings of DPS and of the party of Dogan's biggest ethnic Turkish opponent, Kassim Dal. At one of the DPS meetings, he obtained the badge that allowed him entry to the Saturday's event, even though he was not a delegate and not even a party member.
Enimehmedov is a fifth year student at the Sofia Architectural University and his classmates had described him as introverted.
Also on Sunday, Sofia City Prosecutor, Nikolay Kokinov, announced Enimehmedov will be charged with grave hooliganism and death threat, but not with attempted murder.
Iliya Pavlov was shot dead at the beginning of March 2003 in capital Sofia, a day after he testified in the murder trial of former Prime Minister Andrey Lukanov. Pavlov, 43, was thought to be the richest man in Bulgaria, worth about USD 1.5 B (GBP 933 M).
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