Coroners Fail to Dispel Suspicions in Varna Bishop's Death

Society | July 25, 2013, Thursday // 15:12|  views

Bulgarian Patriarch Neofit (r) at the funeral of Bishop Kiril in Varna, photo by BGNES

The medical expert report in the death of Varna metropolitan Kiril has conclusively established the cause as drowning.

The expertise was assigned by the Regional Prosecutor's Office in the Black Sea of Varna in connection with pre-trial proceedings.

The metropolitan's body was discovered on a beach in the exurban area of Trakata near Varna on July 9.

The three coroners from the St Marina hospital in the city, working on the report, say they made the conclusion after an external examination of the body, an autopsy, and a number of medical tests, which have proven the lead of drowning as cause of death.

The autopsy has established changes in the blood vessels, while the microscope analysis has shown evidence of acute myocardial ischemia (of the cardiac muscle), and both can cause an individual to drown.

The tiny wound on Kiril's forehead, which became grounds for many speculations, has been ruled out as being related to the incident. The coroners say it had happened at another time and was caused by a solid blunt object.

There were no traces of alcohol in the body.

Two other expert reports – a chemical one and one on the metropolitan's medical history are still due. The results will be made public.

Meanwhile, the Bulgarian "Monitor" daily writes that Kiril has been killed, citing an unnamed former leading forensic expert from the Varna police.

He has explained that the death had masterminds, however, they had not been professional criminals, but amateurs, possibly even church insiders.

The expert further states he found it strange that the body was floating on the surface on the same morning of the alleged drowning, which he deems impossible, or the witnesses saying they saw Kiril entering sea waters it he had been gone for a swim in the evening.

Other contradictions include information he went looking for mussels since Varna people, who spent much time on the same beach, insist mussels cannot be found on the sea bottom as it is shallow, even, and covered with soft sand.

If the metropolitan took a swim there every day, he should have known that there were no mussels in the area, says the forensic expert. On top of it, Kiril did not carry a container to put them in at the time of the incident.

The expert also voices suspicion of a connection between the Bishop's death and the drowning of another individual, around 40 years of age, whose body was found on the next day near the tall Asparuhovo Bridge on the other side of the Varna Bay. The police have been unable to identify the victim as he did not have any documents on him.

A forensic expert was cited on Wednesday in saying the metropolitan had been strangled. It remains unclear if this is the same person as "Monitor's" source.

Varna coroners, along with the Regional Prosecutor, are outraged by what they see as speculations beyond any limits.

Their main lead, as also mentioned in the expert report, is that Kiril drowned from hypothermia, caused by a cold undercurrent, but such undercurrents have not occurred in this part of the coastal waters so far.

Bishop Kiril, born with the secular name Bogomil Kovachev, led a controversial life.

In 2012, the he was exposed as a former agent of State Security (DS) the Bulgarian secret service during the Communist dictatorship (1944-1989). Kiril worked as a secret agent under the aliases "Kovachev" and "Vladislav."

There have been many reports that Kiril has been selling and distributing lucrative Church property illegally, meddling in the work of the Church Boards.

During 2011 and early 2012, bishop Kiril raised controversy after being spotted riding a top modern Lincoln MKZ Hybrid car.

Last week, Dorostol metropolitan Amvrosiy was appointed interim metropolitan of Varna and Veliki Preslav after local clergy rejected the first choice of the Holy Synod – Vratsa's Kalinik.

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Tags: Varna, metropolitan bishop, Kiril, bishop, church, Lincoln, State Security, agent, drowning, cold current, Holy Synod, hypothermia


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