Oktai Enimehmedov, the 25-year-old man who pointed a gas pistol at the head of Ahmed Dogan at the Movement and Rights and Freedoms party congress in the Bulgarian capital city on January 19, has been charged with attempted murder, Sofia City Prosecutor’s Office said on April 3.
Dogan, who was assaulted half-way through the speech in which he announced his resignation as party leader (we would later be given the title of honorary president), escaped unharmed in the incident, which was followed by Enimehmedov enduring a severe beating at the hands of a group of men who rushed the stage where the incident took place.
Prosecutors said that the tests carried out on the gas pistol showed that the weapon could have been lethal at the point-blank range, therefore Enimehmedov was charged with attempted murder, rather than grave hooliganism.
Initially, the investigation was on charges of attempted murder, which were later changed to grave hooliganism and murder threats.
Enimehmedov has been in custody since his arrest immediately after the incident, with Sofia City Court rejecting his request to transfer him to house arrest. The court ruled that given his existing criminal record, he was a danger to the public, an accusation that Enimehmedov denied.
He said that he had not intended to kill Dogan, only intimidate him, but he also expressed regret that the gas pistol had misfired.
Enimehmedov faces a jail sentence of 15 to 20 years or even life imprisonment without parole.
(Screenshot of the assault on Dogan from Bulgarian National Television)
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