A complete and comprehensive investigation into an incident in which a Turkish citizen died in Bulgaria’s territorial sea in 2008 found that four Bulgarian citizens did not commit a crime

18 January 2024

Regarding the high public interest in a case involving Bulgarian citizens (former border policemen) in the Republic of Türkiye, the Supreme Prosecutor's Office provides the following information:

The International Department at the Supreme Prosecutor's Office received information from the International Operational Cooperation Directorate at the Ministry of Internal Affairs, that the Turkish authorities declared two Bulgarian citizens wanted with an Interpol Red Notice.

 The request concerns the case of the death of the Turkish citizen Ya.E. occurred on 17.04.2008 during an inspection of a Turkish vessel in the Bulgarian territorial waters in the Black Sea. The trial is being conducted in the court of Kirklareli, Republic of Türkiye, for complicity in a murder.

Regarding media publications claiming that four former Bulgarian border guards were declared wanted in the case, the Supreme Prosecutor's Office clarifies that no official information has been received yet for two of them to be declared wanted through Interpol.

Regarding the death of the Turkish citizen Ya.E., the Bulgarian authorities have conducted a comprehensive and complete investigation. The conclusion of the Military District Prosecutor's Office of Sliven, confirmed by the Military Court of Sliven, is that in this case no crime was committed by the Bulgarian citizens.

In December 2014, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) issued a decision in a case initiated by the heirs of the deceased Turkish citizen. The court in Strasbourg accepted that the case is about an accident that has occurred as a result of unforseable circumstances and that the Bulgarian border police did not violate the rules for the use of firearms.

The Supreme Prosecutor's Office clarifies that in the event of an extradition request received from the Republic of Türkiye pursuant to the European Convention on Extradition (ECE), it cannot be executed, since according to national legislation, our country does not extradite its nationals to countries outside the European Union.