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Bulgarian report Bulgarian report
by Euro Reporter
2009-10-15 14:30:06
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Bulgarian Gets Two Life Terms in US

A Bulgarian immigrant has been sentenced to two life terms for armed robbery and attempting to kill a detective from St. Petersburg police. A judge sentenced 20-year-old Velislav Matzov on Monday.

Authorities say Matzov was one of three suspects who robbed a Blockbuster video store in April 2008. When confronted by plainclothes detectives outside, prosecutors say Matzov fired several shots and hit the officer. The injured detective, who still works undercover, has not been identified. "You have forfeited your right to live in society," Circuit Judge Nancy Moate Ley told the defendant, as cited by.

In August, Matzov was convicted on charges of attempted murder and robbery. On April 30, 2008, he and members of the Haines Road Cru street gang robbed a Blockbuster Video store, authority’s say, unaware they were under police surveillance. When an undercover detective tried to stop the masked suspects, authorities say, one fled and one opened fire. Both Matzov and the officer were hit.

Crime and punishment


Sofia Mayor Candidate

Bulgaria’s rightist party UDF has decided to support Yordanka Fandakova, the candidate of the ruling GERB party for the Sofia Mayor elections in November 2009. This has been decided late Monday night during at a sitting of the Sofia organization of the UDF. Last week the Democrats for Strong Bulgaria party, which forms the Blue Coalition together with the UDF, decided to support GERB’s candidate Fandakova who is presently the Minister of Education.

Thus, the UDF has decided to sign an agreement for joint participation in the Sofia local elections together with GERB and DSB. 61 members of the UDF Sofia leadership voted in favour of this move, 4 opposed it, and 7 abstained. The Sofia organization of the UDF believes that the GERB party is experiencing the apogee of its popularity, and there is practically no way to find a candidate with reasonable chances for success against GERB's runner.


Money laundering

The Sofia City Court held Monday its first hearing on a high-profile money laundering case against what has become notorious as the Stoykov/Nikolov group, by the name of two key defendants, Lyudmil Stoykov and Mario Nikolov. The court dismissed as ill-founded the defence' application for closing the case over errors in the indictment and agreed to try it under a summary procedure.

Businessmen Mario Nikolov, Lyudmil Stoikov and six co-defendants were initially charged (in 2006) with defrauding the EU SAPARD Programme of 7.5 million euro following an alert by the European Anti-Fraud Office, OLAF. At a later stage the fraud charges against Stoykov were dropped, but he remained a defendant in the money laundering case. Nikolov joined him as a defendant in
This later case when the prosecutors reportedly established that the two were connected through an offshore company which is believed to have been used in the money laundering scheme.

In late September it emerged that the court was considering sending a request for a preliminary ruling to the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg. A preliminary ruling procedure would have put the case on hold for a long time, experts explained.


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