Bulgaria's 'Baretata' Top Criminal Case Inches to EndCrime | December 13, 2011, Tuesday // 15:11| views
Zlatomir Ivanov AKA Baretata (c), is believed to be one of the top, still living, Bulgarian underworld figures. Photo by Sofia Photo Agency
Alleged Bulgarian top crime boss, Zlatomir Ivanov aka Baretata (The Beret, The Barret) appeared in Sofia City Court Tuesday to be questioned as a defendant.
Ivanov and 20 other people are charged with participating in an organized crime group and illegal drugs trade.
He told the magistrates that he was fully aware his name is linked to notorious dealings and his image is bad, but very few actually know the truth. He stressed that it was impossible for him to commit all the crimes he is accused of.
The case against Baretata is in final stage. In addition to illegal drugs trafficking and participation in organized crime, he is charged with plotting the murder of Rumen Stefanov AKA Alf.
In February 2009, Ivanov turned himself in, after authorities issued a nation-wide search warrant for him.
The trial against Baretata began in May 2010 only to start from scratch at the end of the year, after one of the jurors was charged with child pornography in November. Petar Georgiev was detained October 22 during a special police operation codenamed "Pedophiles."
All 107 witnesses and 52 exerts are being questioned all over again.
Zlatomir Ivanov, a heavily tattooed man in his late 30s, is charged with being the ringleader of an organized crime group dealing with illegal drug trafficking and with first-degree murder for the killing of Stefan Ivanov aka Alf, committed in a way that endangered the life of many people. The shooting happened in 2007 in a disco bar in the western city of Pernik.
Baretata is believed to be one of the top, still living, Bulgarian underworld figures.
In October, 2011 the Sofia Court of Appeals released him under house arrest after he complained about stress and a urinary infection following surgery.
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