Brazil-Jailed Bulgarian Champ Appeals Heavy Sentence

Crime | July 9, 2012, Monday // 12:10|  views

Galabin Boevski, pictured here during a rare TV interview at the Brazilian jail, hopes that at the second-instance court he will manage to prove my innocence. Photo by bTV

Bulgaria's former Olympic weightlifting champion Galabin Boevski, who was convicted in Brazil of international drug trafficking, has appealed the sentence of nine years and four months.

"Galabin's lawyer lodged the appeal against the verdict two weeks ago," his wife Krassimira Boevska announced.

Boevski has fervently claimed innocence in his rare media appearances. In a statement, circulated to the media by his wife Krassimira last month, he vehemently denied to have been involved with anyone during his trip to Brazil and accused the federal court in Sao Paulo of ignoring evidence presented by his defence.

"I hope that at the second-instance court, I will manage to prove my innocence", he said in the declaration.

Galabin Boevski was convicted of international drug trafficking and sentenced to nine years, four months in prison by a federal court in Sao Paulo at the beginning of May.

He was detained at the end of October in Brazil and accused of carrying 7,2 kilos of cocaine in his luggage.

The first hearing in the trial was held on March 6.

The defense was determined to press for Boevski's extradition and eventual trial in Bulgaria, citing the International Convention on Psychotropic Substances, which the two countries have signed and which has supremacy over state laws.

The lawyer's statement clashed with the opinion of Bulgarian high-ranking officials, who have ruled out the extradition of Galabin Boevski to his home country, saying there is no prisoner transfer agreement between Bulgaria and Brazil.

The 36-year-old Boevski won the gold medal at the 2000 Sydney Olympics in the 152-pound category. He was banned for eight years by the International Weightlifting Federation for doping in 2004.

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