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Burgas municipal councillor Benchev to be prosecuted for cover-up

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Burgas municipal councillor Benchev to be prosecuted for cover-up

Photo: karar.com

The Appellate Prosecutor's office in the Black Sea city of Burgas has subpoenaed municipal councillor Bencho Benchev to press charges against him in connection with the tracking down and arrest of alleged gang leader Dimitar Zhelyazkov, known as Mitio Ochite, in Istanbul in the night to August 4, sources from the prosecution said.

Benchev was arrested in Istanbul, too, along with several other Bulgarians, and was handed over to the Bulgarian authorities. On Monday Benchev was released from custody in Burgas without any charges.

In interviews Benchev claimed that he met Zhelyazkov by accident in Greece and undertook to drive him to Istanbul as he was ill and needed treatment. Data of the Bulgarian Interior Ministry show that Zhelyazkov entered Turkey from Greece in a car owned by Benchev.

The prosecution has opened a pre-trial proceeding against Benchev for aiding a perpetrator and for cover-up, in Istanbul in August 2-5, which could have foiled a criminal investigation against Zhelyazkov. If convicted, Benchev may be sentenced to up to five years behind bars.

Questioning of witnesses is underway. International investigative requests have been sent for official documents from Turkey and Greece, for information from border crossings, etc.

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