Plovdiv former Chief Architect Roumen Roussev, who faced criminal charges in connection with the March 2016 illegal attempt to demolish a former warehouse in Bulgaria’s second city’s historic Tobacco Town district, has died of cancer.
Roussev, who denied wrongdoing, was suspended from his post by court order in September 2016.
He was from February 2008 the Chief Architect – a post equivalent to town planner – of Plovdiv.
The Sunday afternoon attempt to demolish the warehouse, allegedly to make way for a luxury hotel project, was stopped after the public alerted authorities.
Criminal charges were pressed against representatives of the owners of the building and against Roussev, including regarding alleged irregularities in the issuing of construction permits.
Public concern about the future of Plovdiv’s Tobacco Town district flared again in the summer, when an inferno engulfed a group of other former warehouses. A homeless man is on trial on charges of criminal negligence, with prosecutors alleging that he caused the fire by dropping a cigarette. He has pleaded not guilty.