Bulgaria Expects Verdicts in High-Profile Kidnap Case
Sentences are expected Monday in Bulgaria's high-profile trial against the so-called Impudent group, accused of 11 abductions.
A five member panel of magistrates from the Sofia City Court will read the verdicts, after a year-long investigation and 15 months of Court sessions.
The prosecution is asking for a total of 153 years behind bars for all defendants. One of them, Kiril Kirilov AKA Shkafa (The Commode) was murdered in front of his apartment building last weekend, and charges against him were lifted.
The high-profile criminal case followed a special police operation entitled "The Impudent", cracking down on the alleged gang which had kidnapped important businessmen and/or their relatives. The operation was carried out in Sofia and in the cities of Veliko Tarnovo and Montana.
A total of 27 people were detained by the police on December 18, 2009.The special operation was conducted jointly by the Interior Ministry, the State National Security Agency DANS and the Prosecutor's Office. At the time, the Interior Ministry announced all had long rap sheets, including robberies and murders.
Among the 9 accused in the trial, Ivaylo Evtimov AKA Yozhi, and Prokopi Prokopiev AKA The Bodybuilder, are charged with racket and with organizing a kidnap gang. Daniel Dimitrov AKA The Relay, Lyubomir Dimitrov AKA The Rower, brothers Radoslav and Mitko Lebeshevski, Pavel Petkov, the late Kiril Kirilov, and Tsvetozar Slavchev, are all charged as accomplices in a total of 11 high-profile abductions over the last years.
In September, the Sofia City Court started the civil trial of businessman, Angel Bonchev, and his wife Kameliya against the breast cancer foundation Tomorrow for Everyone. Angel Bonchev and his wife, Kameliya, were both abducted for ransom in 2008, allegedly by The Impudent.
One day before Kameliya Boncheva was released, her husband announced he is donating the sum of EUR 157 000 to the Tomorrow for Everyone Foundation. The family insists they were forced to donate the money.
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