An appeal court in Milan ruled to uphold the 20 years imprisonment sentence on Evelin “Brendo” Banev, who was found guilty on charges of drug trafficking at a trial concluded in July 2013, Bulgarian daily Sega reported on August 18, citing unnamed Italian judiciary sources.
The sentences of Banev’s co-defendants in the trial, which included five other Bulgarian nationals, were also upheld, the newspaper said. 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.
The Bulgarians received sentences ranging from seven years and two months to 15 years in jail, while eight other people, including six Italians, one Slovenian national and one Romanian, were also sentenced, Bulgarian media reported at the time.
The ruling can be appealed in Italy’s high court once the appeals court publishes its motives, Sega said.
Banev was previously sentenced by a Bulgarian court in February 2013 to seven and a half years in jail for laundering money from illegal drug deals. He was ordered to reimburse the state 21 million leva in lost income.
But the appeals court in Sofia ruled last month to overturn his sentence, as well as the sentences given to three of Banev’s co-defendants in that case.
In January, Sofia City Court also ruled to allow Banev’s extradition to Romania to stand trial on drug trafficking charges after authorities in Bucharest issued an EU-wide arrest warrant against him.
(Photo: Jason Morisson/sxc.hu)