Sofia City Court handed a suspended six-month sentence to Movement for Rights and Freedoms MP Alexander “Bat Sali” Metodiev on charges of obstruction and hooliganism, and ordered him to pay a 300 leva fine.
The sentence carries a three-year probation period and can be appealed.
The charges against Metodiev stemmed from an incident on May 1 2016, in which the MP, at the wheel of a luxury German car, triple-overtook other cars in a no-overtaking zone while entering the town of Kostenets.
Metodiev waved away signals from uniformed police on duty to stop. About 10 minutes later, at the same place, police stopped a van and requested the identity documents of the occupants. One was not carrying an identity document, which is against Bulgarian law, and was asked to come to the police car to receive a penalty document.
The offender urged police not to proceed with drawing up the document, while another used his mobile phone to call Metodiev. The MP allegedly Metodiev had phoned the head of the Interior Ministry office in Kostenets to tell him to call off his officers. The police chief refused, replying that they were doing their duty, and Metodiev went to the van, allegedly rudely confronting the police.
Metodiev again phoned the Interior Ministry office head, claiming that his subordinates were breaking the law, to which the police chief replied asking Metodiev to keep the peace and allow the police to do their job. The prosecutors said that Interior Ministry took Metodiev’s threats seriously and were “extremely outraged” by his behaviour and attitude towards its staff.
(Alexander Metodiev, back left, at the first sitting of the 43rd National Assembly on October 27 2014)