Ataka leader Siderov guilty in Varna Airport case

Ataka leader Volen Siderov has reached his latest plea bargain with prosecutors, pleading guilty to charges of hooliganism and assaulting a police officer in incidents on a flight from Sofia to Varna and at Varna Airport.

Sofia City Court sentenced Siderov on April 20 2016 to probation of a year and two months and deductions of 15 per cent from his monthly salary.

In the January 2014 incident, Siderov was involved in a confrontation with a French diplomat during the flight. At earlier hearings, the court was told Siderov and Ataka members with him had been consuming alcohol. After the flight reached Varna, Siderov was involved in a confrontation with another passenger and hit a police officer.

Siderov has been accused in a number of trials recently, all involving hooliganism and in most causes assault, in each case Parliament has lifted his immunity as an MP from prosecution. The Ataka leader, whose party is one of the two smallest in the Bulgarian National Assembly, has reached a series of plea bargains with prosecutors. These trials have resulted mainly in salary deductions, probation and community service.

When the trial in connection with the Varna flight incident began, Siderov had pleaded not guilty, alleging a political conspiracy against him involving prosecutors and police.

On April 21, a court is to sit to consider the consolidation of the various penalties against Siderov in the series of trials.



The Sofia Globe staff

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