Lyutvi Mestan, leader of Bulgaria’s extra-parliamentary DOST political party, has been released on bail of 10 000 leva (about 5000 euro) and is to face a charge of negligently causing the death of a six-month-old baby in a car collision, according to an April 15 statement by the Regional Prosecutor’s Office in Kurdzhali.
In the collision, on April 14, a nine-year-old child and the parents were injured.
The accident happened on the road between Kurdzhali and the Makaza border checkpoint. The car in which the family of four had been travelling collided with one in which Mestan was travelling alone after his vehicle entered the main road.
The prosecutor’s statement said that the scene of the accident had been examined, eyewitnesses had been questioned, there had been a medical forensic examination of the dead child as well as medical examinations of the surviving members of the family.
The statement alleged that Mestan had broken the Road Traffic Act, as a result of which he had negligently caused the death of the child.
It said that the sum of bail was in line with the requirements of the Criminal Procedure Code, namely to prevent the accused from absconding or committing a crime.
Mestan, who was held in 24-hour arrest on April 14, had been ordered not to leave the country, the prosecutor’s statement said.
Investigations were continuing, including through interviewing witnesses and the ordering of technical examinations of the vehicles, the statement said.
Bulgarian media reported that on April 15, a post appeared on Mestan’s Facebook page, while he was in custody, expressing condolences on the death of the child.
Mestan is a former leader of the Movement for Rights and Freedoms, having succeeded founder and life president Ahmed Dogan in the post in January 2013. Mestan was deposed in December 2015 after taking the side of Turkey in its dispute over the downing of a Russian aircraft by the Turkish Air Force, and went on to form DOST, which has won no seats in elections.