Bulgaria Murdered PM's Son: Political Foes Evicted UsSociety | August 10, 2011, Wednesday // 15:01| views
The entrance to the notorious flat, located in Iztok district in the capital Sofia, where Andrey Lukanov was shot dead in October 1996. Photo by 24 Hours daily
The long and weary legal battles over the flat, where Andrey Lukanov, Bulgaria's last Communist prime minister, lived and was shot dead, were hatched by political enemies, according to his son.
"The lawsuit over the ownership of our family flat was politically motivated from the very beginning," Lukanov's son, Karlo, said in an interview for 24 Hours shortly after handing over the keys to a representative of the new owner, Sofia municipality.
Karlo pointed members of parliament from the right-wing Union of Democratic Forces as the people behind the plot.
"They claimed that my father does not have the right to buy an apartment bigger than 120 square meters. But he did not need such a permit as at the time of the acquisition he was a member of parliament and candidate for one of the highest posts in the Communist party. The court ruled however that this has been a political decision and the law was breached," Karlo Lukanov recalled.
After two decades of legal battles Sofia municipality assumed on Tuesday possession of the flat, where Andrey Lukanov was shot dead in 1996.
A court ruled against Lukanov's heirs as early as five years ago, saying that the notorious flat, located in Iztok district in the capital Sofia, should be officially transferred to the municipality.
On Tuesday morning Lukanov's son Karlo personally came to the flat and handed over the keys to representatives of the municipality, who did not have much work to do as the place was unfurnished and empty.
"It has been years since my mother does not live here," Karlo Lukanov told journalists afterwards, referring to Lili Gerasimova.
Andrey Lukanov, Bulgaria's last Communist Prime Minister and the first after the collapse of the regime in 1989, rose through the ranks of the Foreign Service and became Foreign Minister, but later resigned from this position and took part in the overthrow of long-time leader Todor Zhivkov.
In 1990, Lukanov served as Bulgaria's last Communist Prime Minister, at a time marked by corruption, massive food shortages, and civil unrest.
Lukanov was later charged with embezzlement and arrested, but charges were soon dropped. He had been engaged in controversial business dealings and had often been held responsible for Bulgaria's foreign debt.
Lukanov remained an active political participant in the Bulgarian Socialist (formerly Communist) Party, often criticizing its various members.
He was murdered in October 1996 outside his apartment building in Sofia. He was shot in the head and chest by a lone gunman who fled and was never captured. The motive for Lukanov's murder remains unknown, but it is largely believed that he was killed by a hired assassin, probably paid for by a political or business enemy, from the same communist circles he belonged to.
On March 15, 2007 the Supreme Cassation Court acquitted all defendants in the trail for Lukanov's murder - Alexander Russov, Aleksey Kichatov, Georgi Georgiev, and the already deceased Yuri Kutepkin.
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