Author Topic: Latest Case of Alleged Police Brutality Reported in Sofia  (Read 6107 times)

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Latest Case of Alleged Police Brutality Reported in Sofia
« on: January 28, 2012, 14:23:59 PM »
Relatives of a Bulgarian man, sought by Europol, have complained of police brutality during his arrest in a shopping mall.

The news was reported Saturday by the largest private TV channel bTV, informing that Stefan Klenovski, who had been wanted for ATM draining, had been arrested Friday evening in the shopping mall on "Tsarigradsko Shosse."

The arrest took place in a children establishment inside the mall, where Klenovski's 7-year-old son had a birthday party.

Mother and wife Iliyana told bTV that as she was heading to the party location, she saw her husband stretched on the floor in front of the children with 6-7 people pushing him.

The Director of the Sofia Directorate of the Interior Ministry, SDVR, Valery Yordanov, who was recently reprimanded for another case of police brutality, firmly denies that the policemen had used excessive force during Klenovski's arrest, but confirmed it had been executed at the children establishment on grounds he could not be detained at another location.

Yordanov pointed out that the arrest had been taped by the security cameras; the operation had developed in a normal way, and the man had no time to resist, even if he wished to do so, thus applying force had been unnecessary. The police chief also denied reports that his colleagues have cursed Klenovski in front of the children.

Yordanov said it was Iliyana who insulted policemen and kicked one of the patrol cars, adding police are extremely careful after the latest scandals over alleged police brutality.

Klenovski had been wanted in connection with the 2011 special police operation "Shock," against an organized crime group dealing with credit and debit card fraud and money laundering. At the time of the arrest he had been with fake ID papers on him. He managed to evade police when the operation was first conducted.


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Re: Latest Case of Alleged Police Brutality Reported in Sofia
« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2012, 15:57:13 PM »
Latest Bulgarian Police Brutality Wasn't That Brutal

A CCTV record of the recent arrest that sparked accusations of police brutality in Bulgaria's capital Sofia was shown by the city police head Sunday.

In the record, taken from the security system of the Tsarigradsko Shosse mall, where the arrest took place, police cannot be seen bringing the detainee to the ground and brutally hitting him, as his wife had claimed.

"You can manifestly see that our colleagues acted very clean and professionally, without disturbing random bystanders, and without using violence on the detainee," said Sofia police head Valeri Yordanov to journalists assembled for the screening.

Iliyana, the wife of arrested Stefan Klenovski, had publicly accused police of hitting him and verbally abusing her and their children in plain view of scores of other kids at the mall.

"In fact it was Klenovska herself who verbally abused our officers. The detainee did not resist arrest, but said he will seek out those who arrested him after being freed, which I plainly interpret as threats," added senior comissar Yordanov.

However, in the video a police officer proceeds to give what appear to be slaps in the face of the detainee, who is already rendered powerless by two other officers.

While the detainee is not brought down to the ground, he is laid over a counter. Further the actual apprehension happens off-screen.

You can view the CCTV record, courtesy of BGNES information agency, HERE (starts around 1:30 into the video).

Sunday Sofia police head Valery Yordanov said a full investigation of the arrest is underway and Iliyana Klenovska's complaint will be taken under full consideration.

However, he quipped "Before our criminals were frequently sick and did not go to court, now they appear to have become quite tender hearted."

Stefan Klenovski is said to be sought by Europol on charges of organizing credit card and ATM skimming networks.

Over the past week, Bulgaria was shaken by the latest confirmed police brutality case, in which a married couple was brutally arrested by dozens of heavily armed elite police, who only uncovered 5 packs of smuggled cigarettes at their homes.

This led to controversy about the manners and effectiveness of Bulgaria's police, and raised calls for senior resignations in the Ministry of Interior.

Sofia police head chief commissar Valeri Yordanov was among those who received disciplinary punishments over the case.


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Re: Latest Case of Alleged Police Brutality Reported in Sofia
« Reply #2 on: January 31, 2012, 18:38:12 PM »
Bulgarian Interior Minister Launches Police Reform

Bulgaria's Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister, Tsvetan Tsvetanov, is presenting Tuesday plans for reforms at his institution.

Tuesday morning, Tsvetanov will have a presentation on the subject: "The Reform at the Interior: Current Situation and Perspectives" at the Council of Ministers building in downtown Sofia.

The other Deputy PM and Finance Minister, Simeon Djankov, and Tsvetanov's Deputies, Dimitar Georgiev and Veselin Vuchkov, will also attend.

In addition to reforms, there is an expected discussion on the scandals that have been shaking the Interior recently over more and more frequent complaints of police brutality and excessive use of force.