site.btaUPDATED Five Suspected of Involvement in Istanbul Terror Attack Detained in Bulgaria
Five persons suspected of involvement in the November 13 Istanbul terror attack have been detained in Bulgaria, the Prosecutor General's Spokesperson Siika Mileva told BTA on Saturday. Four of them have been remanded for 72 hours and the prosecution service wants them remanded indefinitely.
The prosecution is seeking indefinite remand for Syrian Amran Abdulrami, Peter Topal, who has Bulgarian and Moldovan citizenship, and Moldovan nationals Ivan Kalak and Leonid Aksakal. The fifth suspect is a woman with health problems, who should not be in jail.
The prosecution service brought charges of terrorism, human trafficking and smuggling against the five persons, Prosecutor Angel Kanev of the Sofia City Prosecution Office told reporters. Those charged entered Bulgaria illegally. They were mostly involved in logistical activities after the terror attack.
Several countries have been asked to help the investigation, said Kanev.
The search continues for a man wanted in Turkiye.
Counter-terrorism personnel were involved in the arrest of the five suspects and the counterintelligence service was instrumental in the operation. Bulgaria and Turkiye had been working together on this case since November 15, the prosecutor said.
The Sofia City Court decided later on Saturday to remand the four male suspects in custody. According to the court, there is no evidence they have been involved in the terrorist attack, except for information about a chat. They will remain in custody, however, because of suspected human trafficking.
The court session was held behind closed doors due to the involvement of classified information from a few security services, both Bulgarian and foreign ones.
The court’s decision is not final.