Acquittal of Bulgaria's Notorious Brothers Based on 'Lack of Evidence'

Crime | July 30, 2010, Friday // 13:41|  views

Bulgaria's alleged top crime bosses, Krasimir (r) and Nikolay Marinov (l) aka The Marguin Brothers, received a non-guilty verdict after a 5-year long trial. Nikolay Marinov was tried in his absence. Photo by BGNES

There is no solid evidence that the alleged mafia bosses Krasimir Marinov and Nikolay Marinov, aka The Marguin Brothers, ordered three assassinations, according to the Sofia City Court.

The Court released Friday its motives for the June 2010 acquittal of the two notorious brothers Krasimir Marinov, aka the Big Marguin, and Nikolay Marinov, aka the Little Marguin, who were accused of heading an organized crime group responsible for the murders of Nikola Damyanov and top criminal boss Ivan Todorov, aka the Doctor, and the attempt on the life of reservist general Lyuben Gotsev.

the prosecutor asked for a record-high verdict – 22 years behind bars for all 6 defendants, who are charged with plotting 3 murders. The minimum sentence for similar crimes is 15 years, but the verdict has been upped by 7 years – half of the minimum over the seriousness of the crime.

Krasimir Marinov aka the Big Marguin pleaded not guilty last Monday while Nikolay Marinov, the Little Marguin, is tried in his absence because he disappeared in January and his whereabouts remain unknown.

The Marguin Brothers together with Veselin Toshev, Stefan Rangelov, Ivo Karageorgiev, and Biser Iliev were charged with organizing a criminal group and plotting the murders of Nikola Damyanov, and Ivan Todorov, aka The Doctor (a large-scale mafia boss specialized at international cigarettes contraband), and of General Lyuben Gotsev (who survived the attempt on his life).

The Sofia City Court outlined its arguments for the acquittal of the Marguins on more than 100 pages.

“There can be no categorical conclusion about who and how exactly created this organized crime group in question, nor can there be any certainty about who was its leader

The Court declares that none of the accusations against Krasimir Marinov and Nikolay Marinov can be proven in an undisputed way as they are resting primarily on indirect evidence. The prosecution is found to not have presented convincing proofs that the Marguin Brothers were ever in contact with the other defendants.

The Court has also declared that it did not consider necessary and relevant to discuss the part of the accusations which describes the inception of the SIC mafia group, and the affiliation of any persons or companies with it.

The SIC group appeared in the mid 1990s as the rival of the first large-scale mafia structure in Bulgaria after 1989 called VIS. In the late 1990s and the first years after 2000 VIS and SIC were oftentimes at war, and many of the targeted gangland killings in Bulgaria are attributed to this conflict.

The Marguin Brothers are rumored to have been among the top bosses of the SIC group. After 2000, the two major mafia groups in Bulgaria are believe to have been transformed into other smaller-scale entities.

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Tags: Marguins, Nikolay Marinov, Krasimir Marinov, Sofia City Court, SIC, VIS, organized crime, assassination, Ivan Todorov aka the Doctor


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