Prosecutors were dropping attempted murder charges against Oktai Enimehmedov, the man seen pointing a gas pistol at the head of Ahmed Dogan at a Movement for Rights and Freedoms (MRF) congress on January 19 2013, it emerged on February 20.
The prosecution’s U-turn came at the first hearing of the case at the Supreme Court of Cassation (SCC), the court of final appeal in this matter. Previously, the prosecutor’s office argued that Enimehmedov should get a 17-year jail term for attempted murder.
Enimehmedov was found not guilty on this charge by both Sofia City Court and the Sofia Appellate Court. He was handed a three and a half years in jail sentence for threatening to murder Dogan.
The incident at the MRF congress, where founder and veteran party leader Dogan announced that he was stepping down from the party leadership, made headlines around the world because footage was captured on live television of the moments as Enimehmedov appeared pointing the firearm, before being brought down and seriously assaulted by a group of MRF people on stage.
Enimehmedov has argued that he should be acquitted on charges of threatening to murder Dogan because his actions were meant to “raise people’s spirits” and asked to be awarded the country’s highest honours, the Stara Planina, specialist judiciary news website Legalworld.bg reported. His defence has also asked for a reduced sentence, the report said.
(The January 19 incident at the MRF congress made news around the world. The bizarre incident overshadowed the implication for domestic politics – that Dogan, founder and long-time leader of the MRF, handed over the post of party leader to his deputy, Lyutvi Mestan. Screenshot via Bulgarian National Television)