Failed Bulgarian Bank Robber Receives 15 Years in Jail

Crime | October 25, 2011, Tuesday // 17:12|  views

A young Bulgarian man held hostages at gunpoint for long hours inside the Investbank branch in the city of Sliven at the end of March. Photo by BGNES

The district court of the Bulgarian city of Sliven sentenced Stefan Petrov Stefanov, who held six people hostages while trying to rob a bank at the end of March, to 14 years and six months in prison.

Stefanov is also sentenced to pay BGN 150 000 to bank security guard Stancho Stanchev, whom he shot and badly wounded on March 23, the day the hostage crisis in Sliven began.

The court classified Stefanov's actions as an attempted murder, even though the defendant's lawyer, Marin Markovski, insisted that he had the opportunity to kill the security guard if he wanted to.

Markovski has further claimed his client produced the shot by an accident.

Earlier on Tuesday, Stancho Stanchev's lawyer, Ivan Blagoev, had demanded that Stefanov receive a sentence of between 20 and 30 years behind bars.

Om March 23, Stefanov, 27, busted in the local branch of Investbank in Sliven, and then shot and seriously wounded one of the security guards. The assailant took the six bank employees hostages and gradually released them with the last one being held for over 18 hours. He surrendered to the police 39 hours after the beginning of the ordeal.

Tuesday's verdict may be appealed within 15 days.

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Tags: Stefan Petrov Stefanov, security guard, bank, Hostages, Sliven, Investbank, attempted murder, hostage crisis


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