Bulgarian Foreign Ministry: Boevski Left Brazil Jail over Deportation Clause

Crime | October 24, 2013, Thursday // 12:30|  views

The headquarters of the Bulgarian Foreign Ministry in the capital Sofia, file photo

The Bulgarian Foreign Affairs Ministry has issued an official statement for media in connection with the surprising release of Bulgarian weightlifting champion Galabin Boevski from Brazilian jail.

Galabin Boevski, who was jailed in Brazil on cocaine trafficking charges, and was to spent over 9 years in jail, surprisingly returned to Bulgaria Wednesday.

In its evening broadcast, the public television, the Bulgarian National Television, BNT, aired footage, showing Boevski at the Sofia international airport, arriving on a flight from Paris and greeted by his family.

Only BNT reporter, Yordan Dimitrov, has been at the airport to film the arrival and try to get some details.

When approached by Dimitrov, the athlete refused any comment as did the Bulgarian embassy in Brazil, and his Bulgarian lawyer.

In the release, the Foreign Ministry explains that according to the Brazilian legal system, deportation decisions are taken for all foreigners convicted of drug trafficking. The decision is made by the Minister of Justice of Brazil and has to be confirmed by a federal deportation judge and the federal police.

Information on the release of Galabin Boevski has been received by the Embassy of Bulgaria in Brazil at 4 pm on October 22. It was sent by the management of the prison where the athlete was jailed. Half an hour later, Boevski has boarded a plane with final destination Bulgaria. According to Ambassador, Chavdar Nikolov, the Embassy was not informed in advance that Boevski will leave Brazil.

A temporary passport has been issued to him on his own request on October 11, 2013, on grounds he "needed to carry an identity document for the purpose of being hired to work after the end of the jail sentence.

The Foreign Ministry explains that in all cases relating to Bulgarian citizens abroad, consular offices do provide necessary assistance, including through the issuance of documents.

"Bulgarian authorities have not been previously notified by the Brazilian authorities about the planned release of Mr. Galabin Boevski. At present, the Embassy of Bulgaria in Brazil is collecting the necessary additional information on the case," the press release concludes.

Earlier Thursday, Chief Prosecutor, Sotir Tsatsarov, said he was surprised by the release as everyone in Bulgaria, but also assumed this was due to the special expulsion of foreign prisoners law.

According to legal experts, this means that Boevski is free and will not serve time in Bulgarian prison. However, the motives of Brazilian authorities remain unclear.

The former champ was detained at the end of October 2011 at the Sao Paulo airport in Brazil and accused of carrying 7.2 kilos of cocaine in his luggage. Ever since, he has fervently claimed innocence in his rare media appearances.

He was sentenced to 9 years and for months to be served in a Brazilian jail. The sentence was confirmed by an Appellate Court.

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