Trial against Alleged Bulgarian Drug Lord to Continue in Sofia
The Sofia Court of Appeals is to sit Monday on the case against Evelin Banev, AKA "Brendo", who is facing charges of money laundering.
Whether Evelin "Brendo" Banev is in Bulgaria - and whether he will appear before court on Monday has been the subject of speculation over the past months.
In January 2015, the website Dnevnik.bg reported he had left the country late last year. After a case against him had been pending for year, he was placed under house arrest in 2014. Police are said to have been in contact with him in July.
This is the second time Brendo is to appear before the Sofia Court of Appeals, which had previously revoked a 7.5-year sentence issued by the Sofia City court on the same charges. Bulgaria's Supreme Court of Cassation, however, demanded that judicial panel at the appellate court have a say, citing "inconsistency" in the motives of the previous one.
Last week, in a separate development, the Supreme Court of Cassation of Italy annulled his 20-year sentence for drug trafficking, returning the case to the Milan Appellate Court.
Brendo, also known as the Cocaine King, has been described by Italian journalsit Roberto Saviano as "the only person" who knows how drug trafficking between Bulgaria and Italy is carried out.
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