The judge from the Special Court for Serious Organized Crime and Corruption, Adelina Ivanova, rejected Monday the request of Martin “Dzhito” Georgiev’s defense counsel to change his measure of remand to house arrest.

The court session lasted about two and a half hours, and the judge decided, after discussion with the judges‘ panel that under Art. 321 of the Penal Code (pertaining to leading an organized crime group, OCP) the defendant will remain in custody in the investigation services detention facility on 2, “Mayor Vekilski” Str. In the Bulgarian capital Sofia.

The court sided with the opinion of the Prosecutor from the Special Prosecutor’s Office, Detelina Yotova, that the defendant might commit another crime if his measure of remand is changed to house arrest.

The rule may be appealed within three days. A hearing on the appeal is scheduled for June 19, 2018.

For three years, law enforcement authorities have searched for the defendant in Bulgaria; the international search warrant has not in been included in the case file

The judge repeatedly expressed her astonishment that the Prosecutor’s Office had not attached to the case file the necessary documents related to Martin Georgiev’s nationwide and international search, although he was included in the Interpol list of wanted persons in January 2015 as a leader of an OCG.

In the so many files in this case, I could not find at least one proof that the injunction was served to him,” the judge commented.

According to her, the Prosecutor’s Office has justified Georgiev’s arrest with not being able to find him at his listed in the case file home address.

According to Prosecutor Yotova, the investigation has collected sound evidence of repeatedly summoning the defendant to court, first as a witness in the case against his mother, Mila Georgieva, and then as a defendant on six counts pressed against him in January 2015. Said evidence has been a subpoena handed to Mila Georgieva, known by the nickname “The Bloody”, and for allegedly belonging to the OCG “The Killers”.

“I have evidence, it just has not been included in the case; we will include it in the case”, Yotova told journalists. According to her, she was not a prosecutor in the case in 2015 and for this reason, she could not comment on why her colleagues first could not find Georgiev at his home address, and second – why the court subpoenas had not been included in the case files.

The defendant’s lawyer Ivaylo Naydenov refused to answer the question why Georgiev just now turned himself in (on June 7, 2018 – editor’s note) to the Main Directorate for Combatting Organized Crime (GDBOP) after being wanted for three years and five months.

This is the decision and it is the right one; this case should be closed,” is how the lawyer commented on the motives of his client to turn himself in.

Asked whether Georgiev has been hiding abroad for the last three years, the lawyer shrugged, “I do not know. I suppose he was at his home address.”

Asked whether he had seen the European arrest warrant for his client, he denied it by saying: “No, there is no such thing in the case file.” Then, lawyer Ivaylo Naydenov rhetorically asked journalists how he could be happy with the measure when it had been based on something that is not included in the case file.

There was no OCG and no money had been paid

Naydenov tried to persuade the judge and the media that his client had been set up, while the evidence of the investigation collected under Art. 321 for leading an OCGs is “common generalities”.

In his words, someone was setting Martin Georgiev up: “There are some things that worry Martin and me as his defense counsel; I do not want to comment on them now… someone wants to put Martin in a role he did not play“.

The lawyer told the court in detail about Georgiev’s health problems. He said his client was diagnosed with aneurysm in 2014, and it could become more acute.

According to Naydenov, someone was deliberately trying to manipulate the Prosecutor’s office, the media and the court with claims of attempts to bribe certain persons so that Georgiev avoids arrest. “There are claims of money that would be handed out there so that he is not detained – I did not see any of this happening.

Naydenov said it was wrong to leak to the media leads about some bribes: “But since for a long time no evidence had been collected… the case is actually pending… these attempts to manipulate the court and the prosecution with publications by certain sites are extremely sad; they have even quoted certain amounts,” the lawyer said.

He accused Bivol as well of publishing the “nonsense” that “some money would be given away.” Naydenov declined the invitation of Bivol’s reporter to interview the defendant and thus give him the right of replay.

In the courtroom, in a speech lasting about half an hour, the attorney presented most of the witnesses in the case either as Georgiev’s friends, who had not noticed “any traces of criminal behavior” in the defendant’s activities or as people whose testimony the court should not believe because they were either accused in other cases or had psychological problems. He challenged some of their testimonies that there was a marijuana greenhouse in a warehouse near Sofia, which was managed by the crime group, and that “there were negotiations to import cocaine from Colombia” and that Mila Georgieva, the defendant’s mother, was the leader of the OCG.

Murder cases have been closed by the prosecutor’s office because the evidence of drug trafficking has been described in “very general terms”

Judge Adelina Ivanova agreed with the lawyer that five out of the six cases in which Georgiev has been charged have been closed by the prosecutors as early as 2015 and 2016. According to her, evidence of two attempted murders was not available because the perpetrators were never found:

Excuse me, but for three years the perpetrators have not been found, let alone proving that the instigator is Martin Georgiev and how he has done it,” said the judge.

She also rejected evidence of Georgiev running a drug business in Sofia because it had been described by the investigation “very generally”.

“It is not stated exactly what drugs were found, as quantities, as type, whether Georgiev gave them away or sold them”, Ivanova commented.

The defendant, himself, was in a good mood, regularly turning to his relatives to smile. The judge supported his lawyer in the dispute with journalists about the possibility of photographing Georgiev. Ivanova recalled that he had submitted a statement that “he did not want to be photographed“. Martin Georgiev refused to make any comments with: “I have nothing to add.”

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