Sofia City Court ruled on January 21 to allow the extradition of Evelin “Brendo” Banev to Romania to stand trial on drug trafficking charges, news agency Focus reported.
Romania issued an EU-wide arrest warrant against Banev. The court ruled that Banev could be extradited, provided Romanian authorities covered the costs of transporting Banev back to Bulgaria when his presence was required in the investigation against him. Banev’s defence has seven days to lodge an appeal against the extradition.
This was the second time in the past 12 months that authorities in Bucharest tried to secure Banev extradition. In June 2013, Sofia City Court ended extradition proceedings – without ruling on the subject matter itself – saying that Banev was unable to attend the proceedings, but also because the Romanian authorities did not answer queries concerning the court costs and how would Banev be transported to Bulgaria.
At the time, Banev was on trial in Italy, in which he was found guilty on charges of drug trafficking and was sentenced to 20 years in jail. Italian prosecutors claimed that Banev and his accomplices were responsible for the trafficking of six tonnes of cocaine from South America to Italy between 2006 and 2008.
Banev has also been convicted on charges of money laundering in Bulgaria in February 2013 and was sentenced to seven and a half years in jail. He was also ordered to reimburse the state 21 million leva in lost income.
(Photo: Jason Morisson/sxc.hu)