AUST national arrested in Bulgaria

An Australian National claiming to be a member of the BRITISH ARMY has been arrested by Bulgarian Ploice.

Aussie facing charges over Sofia death
Sunday Dec 30 07:28 AEDT
A man believed to be an Australian is expected to be charged with murder following the stabbing death of a Bulgarian in the capital, Sofia.

Bulgarian police said Australian John Paul Freeman, 21, was arrested following an alleged incident in the city centre at about 1.30am local time on Friday (1030 AEDT Friday).

Bulgarian media reported that prosecutors planned to charge him with murder in Sofia Regional Court either Sunday or on Monday.

Andrei Christov Manov, the 20-year-old son of prominent Bulgarian psychotherapist Cristo Manov, died on the way to hospital, reportedly from a stab wound which pierced his heart.

Compatriot Christian Dimov, 19, was also injured and is recovering.

Freeman's address was unknown, but police said his Australian passport indicated he arrived in Bulgaria on December 22.

Police also said he had claimed to be a British soldier.

Australian foreign affairs officials said the man's identity had not yet been confirmed but consular staff planned to speak to him.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) could not confirm whether the accused is Australian and said it was unlikely to know before Monday.

A DFAT spokesman said the Australian embassy in Athens, which has responsibility for Bulgaria, had been told by British officials that a man, "possibly Australian", had been arrested in Sofia for allegedly stabbing two locals.

The spokesman said one man died from his injuries and the other was in a stable condition and out of danger.

Consular staff from the British embassy in Bulgaria are planning to visit the accused on Monday to offer help and establish where he is from.

Foreign nationals from Commonwealth countries can join the British army, but the UK Ministry of Defence said it could not comment on any specific cases.

©AAP 2007

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