Bulgarian Doctor Kills Intruder - Controversy Divides the Nation.

An interesting series of events developed throughout the weekend after the roentgenologist Ivan Dimitrov killed Georgi Dzhevizov (known on "the streets" as Zhoro the Rat) in his garage. Dimitrov was apprehended and the prosecution in his hometown of Plovdiv started investigating the matter. 

Here is the official version - upon coming home late from work, Dimitrov heard noises in his garage, decided to bring his weapon (an illegally possessed gun) and shoot at the intruder. Allegedly, Dimitrov shot 4 times in the general direction of Dzhevizov, however, only one of the bullets was fatal. Dzhevizov died shortly after managing to escape from the garage. Dimitrov was arrested and that sparked a really big public debate.

What is it that concerns people so much? Initially, many objected to the arrest itself because there is nothing wrong with protecting private property. However, others claim that there was no immediate danger that Dimitrov had to prevent. His wife and children were sleeping in the apartment which is separated from the garage (the garage is in the backyard of the building). Regardless, people were quick to say that it was an act of inevitable self-protection. 

The intruder, Georgi Dzhevizov, has a criminal record and charges have been previously pressed against him. He is known for stealing car parts - which explains why Dimitrov found him in the garage. The victim's family demanded that a death penalty should be issued against the doctor. At the same time, hundreds of people went out to protest in front of the police precinct where Dimitrov was held. The protesters shout "Freedom" and had slogans saying "I am Dr. Dimitrov" (an obvious homage to "Je Suis Charlie"). People even went out to protest in Sofia in front of the country's Presidency. 

Today, Plovdiv's prosecutor's office came out with its official statement. Doctor Dimitrov will be released and charges will be pressed against him. The main charges are going to be - possession of an illegal firearm and military provisions. The penalty for such a crime is up to 8 years in prison. The prosecution released additional details to the crime itself. Dimitrov emptied the weapon's storage, gathered the cases and tried to clean up the crime scene. He even called a friend of his to help him out and hid the weapon. However, the gun was not to be found where Dimitrov pointed. A working theory is that a third man went to help and hid the murder weapon without telling the Doctor where it is. 

The case has still not reached the courtroom. This will be something that many would like to see resolved in the right way - the question is - what is the right way? While the family and friends of the victim call for blood, many are outraged that the Bulgarian laws are in no way in favor of people that want to protect themselves and their families. 

Vasil Manev

Vasil Manev is a student in Computer Science and an aspiring columnist, studying in Heidelberg, Germany.

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