Ukraine to Seek Extradition of Bulgarian National for Fighting Alongside Pro-Russian Rebels

Ukraine | February 29, 2016, Monday // 19:07|  views

Anton Gerashchenko. File photo

Ukraine plans to seek the extradition of Bulgarian national Georgi Bliznakov from Bulgaria over suspected participation in a battalion of pro-Russian rebels fighting government forces in Donbas region, Sofia-based bTV broadcaster reported on Monday.

Bliznakov came under the spotlight in Bulgaria as one of several thugs who beat a car driver in a brawl on Sofia Ring Road last week. Four men, including Bliznakov, have been arrested for the incident. Bulgarian print and TV media have released a video showing the beating said to have been made by the victim’s wife. 

Ukraine will request Bliznakov’s extradition on the grounds of alleged “illegal crossing of Ukraine’s border, participation in illegal armed formations and taking part in a war against  Ukraine,” bTV quoted Anton Gerashchenko, an aide to the country’s minister of the interior, as saying.

“If he [Bliznakov] is found to have participated directly in the killing and torturing our citizens, he could be sent to jail,” Gerashchenko has said, according to bTV.

Bulgaria has received no extradition request yet, bTV added.

Vladislav Kutsenko, spokesman for Prosecutor General`s Office of Ukraine, has told bTV that no request for the extradition of Bliznakov has been submitted to them either. 

“We have received no official information yet about this case. We have learnt  from the media that there is such a case but we have received no documents, therefore we can make no comment,” Kutsenko told bTV late on Monday afternoon.

It is up to the Prosecutor General`s Office of Ukraine to decide whether to request Bliznakov's extradition from Bulgaria.

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Tags: Gerashchenko, Donbas, Bliznakov, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Kutsenko, Prosecutor General`s Office of Ukraine


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