2 Bulgarians Await Drug Trafficking Sentences by Malaysian Court
A Malaysian court is to issue in end-October the first instance verdicts of two Bulgarians arrested on drug trafficking charges.
According to the press office of Bulgaria's Foreign Ministry, the hearings at the Malaysian court are scheduled for October 29-30.
On May 18, 2011, Bulgarian nationals Georgi Georgiev, Ivan Kostov, and Georgi Bakalov were arrested at the Sultan Ismail International Airport in Johor Bahru, Malaysia on drug trafficking charges.
The three were charged with trying to smuggle 5.6 kg of amphetamines worth around USD 497 000 into Malaysia.
The three Bulgarians were remanded into custody until May 25, 2012 while the investigation was underway, and were then moved to a jail in Johor, waiting for the witness examinations and the start of the trial.
Due to the lack of evidence for his involvement into the crime, Georgi Georgiev was released and deported to Bulgaria, the statement of Bulgaria's Foreign Ministry informs.
Under Malaysian laws, the other two Bulgarians could get capital punishment if declared guilty.
The press release of Bulgaria's Foreign Ministry comes after a publication of Bulgarian 24 Hours daily in which relatives of the arrested Bulgarians complained that they were not getting sufficient assistance from Bulgarian diplomats.
Bulgaria's Foreign Ministry responds, however, that "the Bulgarian Embassy in Indonesia, the Honorary Consul of Bulgaria to Malaysia, and the Foreign Ministry are closely following the case of the three Bulgarians arrested in Malaysia for drug trafficking and are giving the necessary assistance according to their competences."
Katina Novkova, Charge d'Affaires at the Bulgarian Embassy in Jakarta, will attend the hearings of the two Bulgarians scheduled for end-October, Bulgaria's Foreign Ministry assures, adding that a representative of Bulgaria's diplomatic mission in Indonesia and the Honorary Consul to Malaysia have visited the arrested Bulgarians in jail and are in constant touch with them and their lawyer.
According to Bulgaria's Foreign Ministry, the Bulgarian diplomatic mission in Indonesia has repeatedly requested official information from the Malaysian authorities but no response has yet arrived.
Bulgaria's Foreign Ministry vows it will keep track of the case and give all possible support.
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