Bulgaria’s authorities, MRF in row about attack on Dogan

Bulgaria’s Interior Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov said on January 21 2013 that the investigation into the attack on the Movement for Rights and Freedom’s Ahmed Dogan was “not over”, responding to MRF criticism and calls for an “international investigation” into the incident at which an air pistol was pointed at Dogan’s head at a party congress.

At a news conference on January 20, senior MRF member Hristo Bisserov said that that the party had no faith in the investigation.

Lyutvi Mestan, elected MRF leader at the same January 19 conference at which Dogan announced that he was stepping down – in a speech interrupted by the pistol-pointing incident – called for an international investigation and expressed deep disquiet about the changed messages from authorities that led to what he portrayed as an over-hasty conclusion that the assailant had acted alone.

Television viewers and hundreds of people at the MRF congress saw Oktai Enimehmedov point the gas pistol at Dogan and pull the trigger twice. Dogan scuffled with Enimehmedov, who then was brought down on stage and seriously assaulted by a group of men who kicked and punched him.

Enimehmedov is said to have told interrogators that he had intended to show Dogan that he was “not untouchable” and Enimehmedov wanted his five minutes of fame but did not intend to kill the long-time MRF leader.

Mestan and the MRF said that an international investigation was needed to establish who was the “political mastermind” behind the attack. The MRF also called on the authorities to ensure that nothing untoward happened to Enimehmedov for the sake of concealing the truth.

Mestan said that initial questioning of Enimehmedov had resulted in him responding that he wanted to kill Dogan but after Interior Minister Tsvetanov told journalists that the gas pistol had been not capable of being used to kill Dogan, authorities had changed their tune, meaning that Tsvetanov had unduly influenced the investigation.

Enimehmedov is to face charges of hooliganism and issuing a death threat.

While initial reports said that he was a member of the MRF, and on the video is seen wearing an accreditation badge, the MRF in the seaside city of Bourgas said that they had no record of his being a member and before the incident had never heard of him.

In a television interview on January 20, Sofia city prosecutor Nikolai Kokinov said that there was no evidence that anyone else apart from Enimehmedov was involved in the attack on Dogan. “This is about a single, solo act,” Kokinov said.

Deputy Prosecutor-General Borislav Sarafov said that Enimehmedov could face up to five years in jail for hooliganism and six years for issuing a death threat.

On January 21, Tsvetanov said in a television interview, “no one said that the investigation is over. We should be satisfied with what we have so far and now we have to find out whether there was someone else behind the attack”.




The Sofia Globe staff

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