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Information regarding Bulgarians arrested in Malaysia

19 October 2012

The Bulgarian Embassy in Indonesia, the Honorary Consul of the Republic of Bulgaria in Malaysia and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs are closely monitoring the case of the Bulgarian citizens who were arrested in Malaysia for drug trafficking, and are providing the necessary assistance in accordance with their respective responsibilities. The Charge d’Affaires of the Bulgarian Embassy in Jakarta, Katina Novkova, will be present at the trial of the two Bulgarians, scheduled for October 29 and 30 2012, at which sentence at the first instance is expected to be passed.

Three Bulgarian nationals, Georgi Georgiev, Ivan Kostov and Georgi Bakalov, were arrested on May 18 2011 at Sultan Ismail international airport in Malaysia for drug trafficking. They had attempted to bring into Malaysia 5.6kg of amphetamines worth 1.5 million ringgit (about $497 000)

The three men were held in custody until May 25 2012, while the investigation into them was underway, and then were moved to a prison in the state of Johor, Malaysia, pending questioning of witnesses and the laying of charges. The Honorary Consul in Malaysia, Mr Steven Soh, visited the Bulgarians while they were in custody in prison and remained in constant contact with them and with their lawyer.

In the absence of evidence of a criminal offence, Mr Georgiev was released and deported to Bulgaria by Malaysian authorities on June 29 2012. Ivan Kostov and Georgi Bakalov remain in prison. The two Bulgarians have a lawyer who was retained by their relatives. The Honorary Consul of Bulgaria in Malaysia attended the preliminary hearing of witnesses and several closed hearings.

The Bulgarian diplomatic mission in Indonesia has repeatedly requested official information from the Malaysian authorities, but so far has had no reply. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will continue to monitor the situation and to provide all assistance possible.

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