UK Police Set To Examine Bulgarian Court Evidence against Shields

Crime | February 28, 2009, Saturday // 00:00| Views: | Comments: 0
Bulgaria UK Police Set To Examine Bulgarian Court Evidence against Shields: UK Police Set To Examine Bulgarian Court Evidence against Shields The UK Justice Minister, Jack Straw, has announced that Shields' case is to be re-examined by the UK police. Photo by Yuliana Nikolova (Sofia Photo Agency)

The UK football hooligan, Michael Shields, who was arrested in Bulgaria in 2005 for attempted murder, is to have the facts surrounding his conviction studied by a UK police force, the BBC reported late Friday.

Shields, 22, is serving a 10-year term for the attempted murder of Bulgarian barman Martin Georgiev , but maintains his innocence.

High Court judges ruled in December 2008 that Justice Secretary Jack Straw has the power to issue a pardon.

A decision based on Merseyside Police's findings is unlikely to be delivered before May, Straw said on Friday.

Shields was transferred to the UK from Bulgaria in 2006 after his 15-year sentence was reduced on appeal, and is serving his sentence at Thorn Cross Prison in Warrington near Liverpool.

In a statement Straw made it clear there was still a lengthy process to go through before he could make a final decision.

"I am determined to make the best and fairest decision that I can, but can only do so after properly assessing all of the material that is available, in accordance with the judgment of the court," said Straw.
Police will speak to UK-based witnesses and study new evidence which came to light after Shields was jailed.

Barman Martin Georgiev was seriously injured after having a paving slab dropped on his head near the Black Sea city of Varna in May 2005.
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