Police officer convicted of murder of Romani man in Bulgaria
15 July 1997
On June 25 a criminal court in the Central Bulgarian city of Stara Zagora convicted a sergeant from the Ministry of Interior for the negligent murder of a 41-year-old Romani man named Mehmed Hoxhov in 1995.
On July 25, 1995, around 10:30 p.m., the defendant, who lived around one hundred meters from the Roma neighbourhood in Stara Zagora, emptied the cartridge of his pistol by shooting in the diréction of the Roma neighbourhood. One of the bullets hit Mr. Hoxhov, who was on his way to his house at that time, in the head. Mr. Hoxhov died shortly thereafter.
The police sergeant was charged with a negligent murder with a firearm under Article 122(2) of the Bulgarian Penal Code, which under Bulgarian law carries a penalty of up to three years imprisonment. He was also separately charged with the crime of hooliganism under Penal Code Article 325. The criminal court convicted the defendant of murder, but acquitted him of the hooliganism charges. The court sentenced the police officer to twenty-one months imprisonment and 2.1 million Bulgarian Leva in civil damages. The prison sentence has been suspended. (The Human Rights Project)