The Plovdiv Regional Court acquitted on October 17 2018 two business people who had faced charges in connection with the March 2016 attempted demolition of a warehouse in the Bulgarian city’s historic Tobacco Town precinct.
Business people Georgi Branekov and Alexander Nikolic had faced various charges.
Branekov was charged along with Nikolic, a Bulgarian-Serbian dual citizen, with organising an illegal activity in a zone protected under cultural heritage law.
Branekov also faced a charge of deliberately using a forged document that stated that the warehouse was outside the protected zone.
Nikolic was charged with breaking the Cultural Heritage Act by organising an illegal activity in a protected area and with being an accomplice by advising Branekov how to break the cultural heritage law. He was also charged with deliberately using a forged official document.
The attempted demolition, which took place during a long weekend, was stopped when residents alerted institutions and held a spontaneous protest at the building.
Counsel for the accused, Rozalina Apostolova, argued that the building had not had protected status. The court upheld this, and acquitted Branekov and Nikolic.
The verdict is subject to appeal. Prosecutor Dilyan Pinchev said that his office would proceed with an appeal.
(Archive photo, taken in August 2016: Clive Leviev-Sawyer)