Bulgarian court orders retrial of Paris murder case

19th May 2009, Comments 0 comments

Despite overwhelming evidence supplied by French police against two alleged killers Bulgaria's supreme court has called a retrial.

Sofia – Bulgaria's supreme court of appeal on Monday ordered a retrial of a brutal murder case, overturning two previous acquittals of the alleged killers despite what has been called "overwhelming proof" against them.

Martin Borilski, a 24-year-old Bulgarian law student in Paris, was found dead in his apartment in July 2000 after being stabbed 93 times with a letter knife.

On the evidence of blood-stained clothes found at the crime scene and DNA material under the victim's nails, French investigators decided that two other Bulgarian students were the only people present in the apartment at the time of the killing.

The two suspects -- Georgy Zhelyazkov, 29, and Stoyan Stoichkov, 28 -- returned home shortly after the murder and were tried in Bulgaria.

But despite evidence supplied by the French authorities, the two were acquitted and that acquittal was upheld by a court of appeal earlier this year.

The acquittal angered the French ambassador to Bulgaria, Etienne de Poncins, who said there had been "precise, concurring and overwhelming proof against the two defendants."

Borilski's family also protested the ruling and launched a last appeal of the case at the supreme court of appeal in Sofia.

In its order for a retrial -- which cannot be appealed -- the court decided there were "discrepancies" and "substantial breaches of the rules of procedure for accepting, collecting, verifying and analysing evidence".

Possible motives and probable scenarios had been wrongfully ruled out by the judges, giving priority to the version presented by the two defendants, it said.

AFP / Expatica

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