12 Take Witness Stand in Notorious Bulgarian Roma Boss TrialCrime | January 23, 2012, Monday // 08:34| views
In December, Tsar Kiro angered a crowd of fellow villagers by flipping them off as he entered the district court in Asenovgrad. Photo by actualno.com
The case against notorious Bulgarian Roma boss, Kiril Rashkov AKA Tsar Kiro is resuming Monday with the testimony of 12 witnesses.
The news is reported by the Regional Prosecutor's Office in the town of Asenovgrad.
The Roma clan leader is accused of threatening to kill one of his fellow villagers, Veselin Hristov, on September 23 2011, in the village of Katunitsa near Bulgaria's second largest city of Plovdiv.
On December 22, the district court in the town of Asenovgrad ruled that Kiril Rashkov will remain in custody until January 23 when the trial against him is set to be launched. The court rejected demands made by the defendant's attorneys that he be released on house arrest due to his deteriorating health condition.
It also emerged during the trail against Rashkov that main witnesses in the case have been threatened by phone calls warning about dangers for their families. The witnesses say they have notified the police, but the latter declined to offer an official confirmation.
On September 23, a van driven by members of Rashkov's Roma clan deliberately ran down and killed 19-year-old ethnic Bulgarian Angel Petrov in the village. This provoked the ire of villagers and citizens across Bulgaria. Throngs gathered in front of Rashkov's illegal luxurious estates in Katunitsa and set them aflame.
The events sparked nationwide protests against what many saw as the inaction of the state against bosses in the organized crime world. Far-right groups were quick to gather in the major cities, marring the protests with racist slogans.
Two of the witnesses to take the stand Monday are young women, who on the fatal day were going for a coffee at Hristov's bar, and heart and saw Tsar Kiro's threats against Hristov, who is the uncle of the killed Angel.
On November 22, another representative of the notorious Roma clan, Kiril Rashkov-Jr II, the grandson of Tsar Kiro, was sentenced to 8 months of imprisonment for issuing a murder threat to Veselin Hristov. Rashkov-Jr II is appealing the verdict.
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