Local Judges Refuse to Try Bulgaria's Infamous Sliven MayorCrime | December 27, 2010, Monday // 14:33| views
The Mayor of the southern Bulgarian city of Sliven and former star football player, Yordan Lechkov, has been involved in plenty of controversy in 2010. Photo by BGNES
The case filed against the Mayor of the southern Bulgarian city of Sliven and former star football player, Yordan Lechkov, has been transferred to the Supreme Court of Cassations (VKS).
The news was reported Monday by the Bulgarian news agency BTA, informing the reason for the transfer is the fact that all judges in the city have withdrawn from the case upon being randomly selected.
The spokesperson of the Sliven Regional Court, Martin Danchev, is quoted saying all magistrates had sound motives, mostly revolving around the impossibility of trying Lechkov fairly and impartially since the Mayor had, on many occasions, publically voiced prejudice against local judges.
VKS now must assign the case to another court.
On December 2, the Sliven Regional Prosecutor's Office charged Lechkov with trading in influence and fraud. According to the evidence submitted, in March 2005, the former star football player asked and received from Iliya Georgiev aka Manastara a gift in the amount of BGN 5 000 for the Regional Football Club "Sliven 2000" in order to influence, in exchange, the decision of an employee of the Executive Forestry Agency.
Georgiev is a local businessman, who testified he collected the asked amount from property owners in a nearby villa zone with the hope Lechkov will help them solve the issue with the lack of water supply to their buildings, but the latter failed to fulfill his promises.
The Mayor, himself, recently told reporters, he had been charged on 9 counts, some of them stemming from alleged abuse of power.
The Prosecutor's Office announced they will make the information officially available when all charges are ready.
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