News

For the second time a conviction is reached in the case of two Bonelli's Eagles (Hireaaetus fasciatus) seized in 2010.

For the second time a conviction is reached in the case of two Bonelli's Eagles (Hireaaetus fasciatus) seized in 2010.

25.02.2013
After the first conviction in 2012 was appealed, the Sofia Appellate Court ordered a retrial in Vidin, where for the second time Vidin district court found the defendant guilty and sentenced him to "imprisonment" for a period of 2 (two ) years with three years probation and a fine of 3,000 (three thousand) Levs.

A breif background of the case:

On 27/03/2010, officers at the Vidin ferry checkpoint prevented the export of two birds with fake documents, they were Bonelli's eagles (Hieraaetus fasciatus) which are extremely rare in Bulgaria. . The species is listed in the Biodiversity Act, Annex 2 of the International Convention CITES and Annex A of EC Regulation 338/97 governing the implementation of the CITES Convention within the European Union. Interestingly in this case the person exporting the birds said he was an employee of the "Green Balkans", which is, of course, not true.

Two years later, the case went underway. The offender was charged under article 278 of the Penal Code. Unfortunately, despite obvious evidence, the prosecution raised charges under article 242 of the Penal Code for the forgery of documents.
As I have already said several times, this case of trafficking is iconic and extremely important for Bulgaria. Worldwide wildlife trafficking ranks third after trafficking in drugs and arms. An interesting fact is that in 2011, at the Rescue Center of green Balkans were housed birds, missed or deliberately released in Sofia. Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) in the area of NPC, the Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus brookei), Eleonora's Falcon (Falco eleonorae), Goshawk (Accipiter gentilis). The latter was found in a trash container with two other already dead birds of this species near the home of the detainee in the case with the Bonelli's Eagles.
On another occasion, a Saker falcon (Falco cherrug) was spotted in several places around the capital, but was not caught. All detected birds were tagged with fake rings similar to those of the Bonelli's Eagles, caught with false documents in March 2010 and are found in the area in which the culprit lives.

Later, in July 2011, according to information from the Ministry of the Interior, the same man was detained after a search of his apartment, where he openly illegally bred Peregrine Falcon Calidus, which is a paler subpecies and does not occur in our country (Falco peregrinus calidus). At this site we also uncovered a number of other indisputable evidence that this person has been engaged in illegal activities for years, like the false certificates for the export of birds and seal of the MOEW and the Austrian Ministry of agriculture, forestry and the environment. They are, in our view, a direct link with false documents as described by thge Vidin ferry checkpoint officers in the case of the two Bonelli's Eagles. (Hieraaetus fasciatus).

We hope that the confirmation of an effective criminal conviction will give a clear signal that the person is guilty, and eventually the righteousness will prevail.

Here you can get acquainted in detail with the raid and the confiscation of Peregrine Falcon, at the home of the accused.

For more information:
Ivailo Klisurov – Manager of the Rescue Center for wild animals – Green Balkans
Tel: +359886570052, e-mail: iklisurov@greenbalkans.org