Court to Deliver Verdicts in Bulgarian Train Tragedy Case

Crime | September 21, 2012, Friday // 08:37|  views

The charred sleeping car where 9 people died after the February 2008 blaze in the train traveling from the northern town of Kardam to the capital city of Sofia. Photo by BGNES

The Appellate Court in the Bulgarian city of Veliko Tarnovo is to rule on Friday on the tragic 2008 fire in the Sofia-Kardam train that killed nine people.

The Prosecution demands maximum sentences (15 years) for ticket collector, and for Ivanka Kostadinova, head of the train.

Georgi Ivanov, former Deputy Head of the Passengers' Travels Department at the Bulgarian State Railways, faces six years in prison for ordering a double lock of all doors of sleep cars, which prevented the passengers from leaving the train.

In September 2011, Bulgaria's Supreme Court of Cassations (VKS) returned the Sofia-Kardam train fire case for retrial to the Veliko Tarnovo Appellate Court.

On February 29 2008, in the deadliest train accident since 1992, nine people were charred to death and nine more injured after two cars of the night train going from Sofia to the northeastern town of Kardam burst into flames minutes after midnight. One of the victims was the Director of the National Archaeology Museum at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, BAS, Prof. Rasho Rashev.

Georgiev, Kostadinova, and Ivanov were summoned as defendants on charges of homicide through reckless imprudence.

VKS found that the Court of second instance has reached its conclusions on the basis of inconclusive or incomplete evidence.

The Pleven District Court sentenced Georgi Georgiev to 12 years of imprisonment, Ivanka Kostadinova to 8 years behind bars and declared Georgi Ivanov not guilty.

On March 2 2011, the Veliko Tarnovo Appellate Court reduced the prison terms of Georgiev and Kostadinova to 8 years and 6 months and 5 years, respectively. Ivanov was declared not-guilty.

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Tags: Veliko Tarnovo, Pleven, BDZ, kardam, sofia, District Court, train fire, Appellate Court, VKS, Supreme Court of Cassations, Prosecutor


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