Living Suspect in Bulgarian Teen Murder Charged as Accomplice

Crime | January 20, 2012, Friday // 12:49
Living Suspect in Bulgarian Teen Murder Charged as Accomplice: Living Suspect in Bulgarian Teen Murder Charged as Accomplice Murder suspect Mario Lyubenov photographed inside the Pernik courtroom. Photo by BGNES

Mario Lyubenov AKA The Rabbit has been charged as a murder accomplice in the case of a slain Bulgarian teen girl.

The news was reported Friday by Lyubenov's lawyer, saying that on Wednesday the Prosecutor's Office had issued an order for her client's 72-hour arrest.

Miroslava Nikolova, 17, from the western city of Pernik, near Sofia, was kidnapped in November and her body was discovered by the police 65 days later. Two men were arrested as suspects. One of them – Chocho, according to the police, had made confessions and implicated his accomplice, Mario Lyubenov, as the physical perpetrator of the murder.

Chocho, however, committed suicide before the eyes of highly-trained policemen when he got hold on a gun during the search of his apartment.

The other suspect is listed in a Sofia psychiatry ward to be tested for schizophrenia.

Lyubenov was reportedly a classmate of Borislav – boyfriend of Miroslava's sister, Eleonora. The girl was kidnapped because Borislav recently inherited a large amount of money and the perps planned to ask him for ransom. They told police they killed Miroslava because they had no means to take care of her.

It was reported meanwhile, that the Pernik Regional Court ruled Friday to extend by 20 days the deadline for the expert report on his condition.

The request was filed by the Sofia "St Naum" hospital. He is listed there under a Court order in another criminal case. His relatives insist that he is schizophrenic and has nothing to do with Miroslava's murder. The suspect has two different diagnoses, and the doctors say they need more time to find out which one is valid and if one is valid.

Psychiatrist, Dr. Robert Krumov reported earlier that between December 2009 and July 2011, Lyubenov had never shown any signs of schizophrenia. Krumov is an expert with the Pernik Regional Court and has monitored the suspect during this period. He casts strong doubt that the man is simulating in order to escape justice, a statement backed Thursday by Dr. Vladimir Vladimirov, Chair of the State Commission for Court Psychiatry.

Vladimirov also predicts that the expert report could be delayed by a month. In order to have the most precise assessment, the team of three psychiatrists will be joined by a clinical psychologist.

At the same time, Interior Minister, Tsvetan Tsvetanov, refused to comment in the Parliament Friday on information that a third individual has been linked to the murder, only saying he hoped that all details will be established through the ongoing investigation and the Court system.

Bulgaria's the State Television, BNT, reported that police are probing the possibility that a third person had been an accomplice in the kidnapping and the gruesome murder. According to the report, the third suspect is a business associate of Chocho. The man is identified as Krasimir Petrov, 43, AKA The Cop – a former policeman. Petrov and Stoev have been investigated in 2008 for another kidnapping and for thrashing.

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Tags: Robert Krumov, suicide, The Rabbit, Mario Lyubenov, protest, parents, Pernik, missing, Murder, dead, Miroslava Nikolova, schizophrenia, diagnosis, suspect, suspects, Kalin Georgiev, GDBOP, Stanimir Florov, Stoycho Stoev, Murder, kidnapping, psychiatry
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