MALAYSIA: COURT REPLACES BULGARIANS' DEATH SENTENCE WITH LIFE WITHOUT PAROLE
December 15, 2012: The court in Malaysia cancelled the death sentence on Bulgarians Georgi Bakalov and Ivan Kostov who were arrested with two suitcases with amphetamines.
"The death sentences were changed for imprisonment for life on December 15," Georgi Bakalov's father told the Nova TV.
The decision was made in the second court instance. Georgi's father explained that the news was released in Malaysia.
"Look, they are innocent. The judge told them he knew they were innocent but he had to announce the verdict," Georgi's father explains further.
According to relatives of the two young men, they were cheated by drug trafficker Georgi Georgiev who lied to them they carried viagra. The two Bulgarians were seized with 5.6 kilos of amphetamines worth US$497,000. The sentence of such a crime in Malaysia is death.
The news on the cancelation of the death sentences was denied by Bulgaria's foreign ministry. Sources from the foreign ministry explained that the lawsuit was to be examined by the Appellate court but no date had been fixed for it yet.
Apart from that, Bulgaria's authorities are in a process of preparation of a memorandum on legal aid which will be signed in Malaysia. This would mean that in case the death sentences on the Bulgarian are cancelled and changed with imprisonment for life, they could be extradited to Bulgaria where they will serve their sentences. (Sources: paper.standartnews.com, 15/01/2013)