TIR Truck Driver Sentenced to Life Imprisonment in Iran Returned to Bulgaria

Crime | August 27, 2014, Wednesday // 17:17|  views

Photo by BGNES

Zhivko Rusev, a Bulgarian national sentenced to life imprisonment in Iran for drug trafficking, has been returned to Bulgaria.

Zhivko Stefanov Rusev, who had been serving a life imprisonment sentence in the Evin Prison in Teheran, was transferred from Iran to Bulgaria on the night of August 26, according to reports of Sega daily.

Rusev was arrested by Iranian police on September 20, 2008 at a parking lot in the suburbs of the northwestern city of Tabriz.

Police found a large quantity of heroin in the freight vehicle driven by Rusev, which had a Bulgarian registration plate.

On November 2, 2009, a judge panel of the Tabriz Revolutionary Court sentenced him to life imprisonment for complicity in the smuggling of 338kg of heroin.

After an appeal by Iran's chief prosecutor, the sentence was upheld by another judge panel of the same court on September 17, 2011 and the ruling entered into force.

Rusev is currently at the Sofia Central Prison.

The transfer was completed through close coordination and cooperation between Bulgaria's Ministry of Justice, the Prosecutor's Office, and the Foreign Ministry.

In 2009, after 4 months of being missing, Zhivko Rusev from Galabovo, a TIR truck driver, was found in an Iranian prison.

Rusev, then aged 55, had been arrested in September 2008 in the northwestern Iranian city of Tabriz in an operation of local anti-drug unit.

Police found a hidden compartment filled with drugs in his truck.

The authorities in Teheran reportedly told the Bulgarian Ambassador Plamen Shukyurliev that law required that every person arrested for possessing as little as 100 grams of heroin was automatically sentenced to death by hanging regardless of their nationality.

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Tags: drug trafficking, life imprisonment, Iran, Teheran, Bulgarian Ambassador


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