5 Sentenced to Lifetime Jail for Bulgarian Ex-PM Murder

Politics | November 28, 2003, Friday // 00:00| Views: | Comments: 0
5 Sentenced to Lifetime Jail for Bulgarian Ex-PM Murder All five suspects in the murder case of former Bulgarian Prime Minister Andrei Lukanov were sentenced to life imprisonment. The defence could appeal against the verdicts in 15 days before the Court of Appeals. Photo by Yuliana Nikolova (novinite.com)

All five defendants in the murder case of former Bulgarian Prime Minister Andrei Lukanov were sentenced to life imprisonment on Friday. The defence can appeal the verdicts in a 15-day-period before the Court of Appeals.

One of the two Ukrainian suspects - Alexander Russov - was pointed by the court as the perpetrator of the shooting on October 2 1996. Building contractor Anguel Vassilev was named by the prosecution as the mastermind of the murder, allegedly driven by economic motives. The others were pointed as accomplices in the crime.

Two Ukrainians, Bulgarian entrepreneur Anguel Vassilev and his driver Yuri Lenev, as well as Georgi Gergiev are the five defendants, charged with organizing the 1996 assault against Lukanov, one of the leading figures in the country's former communist regime.

Last week the court heard the pleadings of the lawyers and the five defendants, who insisted that they are pronounced not guilty. The Prosecutor's Office in their turn demanded that the five suspects in the murder case should be sentenced to life in prison.

In the middle of November it emerged that the hairs found near the crime scene did not belong to the main suspects - two Ukrainian nationals named Aleksei Kichatov and Alexander Russov.
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