Indictment against Alleged Bulgarian Crime Boss Reaches Court
Following an investigation of close to two years, Bulgaria's prosecuting authority has filed an indictment against former secret agent and alleged crime boss Alexei Petrov.
Petrov, together with five other people, including former prosecutor Tseko Yordanov, Marchelo Dzhotolov and Anton Petrov - aka "Hamstera" (i.e. "The Hamster") are facing charges of racketeering and extortion, the Bulgarian Telegraph Agency reported, citing sources from the prosecution.
Petrov was arrested on 10 February 2010 in a special operation codenamed "Octopus".
The Interior Ministry said that it had bust a very powerful, exceptionally well organized and hierarchically structured crime ring that had been functioning since 1997.
The detainees were charged with organizing prostitution, drug trafficking , money laundering, racketeering, tax fraud and embezzlement.
Asked to account for the significant delay of the indictment in July 2011, the prosecutor assigned to the case, Svetlozar Kostov, said that the step required the processing of a huge load of documents which had been seized during the Octopus operation.
At that point Kostov declared that it was impossible to solve the case with one trial and opened thee trials against a total of 25 defendants, deploying a team of three prosecutors.
Petrov was set free in October 2010 after spending 8 months under arrest.
The court ruled that there was no evidence of Petrov's alleged leadership of an organized crime group and placed him under house arrest.
In February 2011, the magistrates decided to apply a less restrictive measure of remand, signed promise of appearance.
Petrov ran for President in the end-October elections but scored only 0.95% of support (30 955 votes).
Petrov was voted top presidential runner at only one polling station, the one at the Bobovdol prison.
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