Central Sofia Jail Runaways 'Used Police Car'

Crime | May 10, 2014, Saturday // 12:48
Bulgaria: Central Sofia Jail Runaways 'Used Police Car' Nikolay Nikolov (left) and Jose Martinez. Photo by Bulgarian Interior Ministry press center

The two men who last week managed to escape from the Central Sofia jail used a police car to run away, according to officials from Bulgaria's Ministry of Justice.

The vehicle was an Opel with a blue police light and a fake registration, as Deputy Justice Minister Iliya Angelov explained at a press conference.

It successfully made its way through the checkpoint leading into the Central Sofia Jail at 17:30, the time when the two men were breaking out. No officers checked the documents of the driver, who said he was a policemen. It seems heavy rain was what discouraged them from inspecting his ID card. 

The car left the jail's territory only five minutes later. An employee at the checkpoint managed to write the license number, but authorities later learned it was not registered. 

On April 30, two men, one a sentenced murderer and the other accused of robbery, car theft and illegal possession of firearms managed to break out of the Central Sofia Jail.

Nikolay Nikolov, a Bulgarian citizen serving a 20-year sentence for murder, and the Guatemalan Jose Martinez, were put on the national wanted list. 

Two employees at the Department for Imprisonment Serving are to be fired over the jailbreaking and two others are to be disciplined, as ministry officials were quoted as saying by Bulgaria's bTV channel. 

Angelov said security at the jail had been tightened after the incident, and orders had been issued that every vehicle entering its territory be subject to inspection. 

On Saturday, a letter sent to the media by jail personnel's trade union also argued that the Justice Ministry had demanded that employees remain silent on the issue.

Union representatives also believed that an urgent meeting with jail management officials to discuss improvements to the prison system should be a top priority on a national level.

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Tags: Nikolov, Martinez, Central Sofia Jail, Ministry of Justice, Iliya Angelov

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