Bulgaria is firing two National Security Service officers and disciplining six others because of shortcomings in security arrangements and responses at the Movement for Rights and Freedoms congress at which long-time leader Ahmed Dogan was attacked by an assailant with a gas pistol.
National Security Service chief Todor Kodheikov told a news conference in Sofia on January 24 2013 that the number of guards deployed had been insufficient, and the security personnel had been deployed wrongly, which meant that it had not been possible for them to respond quickly to the incident.
In the January 19 incident, television viewers and hundreds of people attending the congress saw Oktai Enimehmedov confront Dogan on stage with a gas pistol pointed at the MRF leader’s head at close range. Dogan sought to defend himself before people rushed on stage, bringing down Enimehmedov, who then was seriously assaulted by a group of men who repeatedly punched and kicked him.
Enimehmedov has been remanded in custody by Sofia Regional Court after being charged with attempted murder and aggravated hooliganism.
Kodheikov said that the two being dismissed were senior officers with long-term service.
Opposition parties in Bulgaria demanded the firing of the head of the National Security Service but it seemed that an investigation in recent days, in which tapes of the event were scrutinised, would not lead to this.
Organisational changes in the National Security Service are also expected to follow.