State seeks to extradite murderer to Bulgaria

Polanski was sentenced by a Bulgarian court to 14 years in prison in 2005, but fled to Israel to escape his prison sentence in 2006.

January 9, 2013 04:25
2 minute read.
Suspect arrested [illustrative]

arrest 311 R. (photo credit: REUTERS/Eric Gaillard )


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The state attorney on Tuesday filed a petition requesting to extradite Israeli citizen Yaakov Polanski to his home country of Bulgaria, to serve a prison sentence for murder and possession of a weapon in 1999.

Polanski was sentenced by a Bulgarian court to 14 years in prison in 2005, but fled to Israel to escape his prison sentence in 2006.

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The request was submitted by the international law division’s Yael Bitton to the Jerusalem District Court and also included a request to detain Polanski until the end of the proceedings.

According to Bulgaria’s extradition request, on September 9, 1999 in the city of Burgas, Polanski got into a dispute with his Russian business partner, Viktor Dubanov.

After the two had a meeting, Polanski took his partner to a remote dirt road and shot him in the head, killing him instantly, said the petition.

Polanski’s son, who was also at the scene in a second car, helped him wrap the partner’s body in a nylon bag.

Next, the two placed the bag inside the car and covered it with a carton and a car tire.

Traffic police in the area held up Polanski, who tried to bribe them to leave him alone.

Initially Polanski offered $200, but after the police noticed his car was stained with blood, he offered them $1,000.

The police ignored his entreaties, searched the son’s car and found the body.

Polanski was brought to trial, convicted of murder and sentenced to 14 years in prison in 2005.

Following the rejection in June 2006 of an appeal he filed, Polanski fled to Israel.

He also changed his name from Polanski to Zelikman.

In 2011, it was discovered that Polanski was in Israel and that he had received Israeli citizenship in 2007.

Bulgaria filed a request to extradite Polanski on December 22, 2011.

All of the evidence regarding Polanski’s crime and conviction were received on March 18, 2012.

Polanski, originally a Russian citizen, had moved to Bulgaria with his wife and son in 1995.

Dubanov and Polanski had known each other for 20 years before the murder, and had been partners in a company called Borus Ltd.

The dispute appears to have arisen as the two attempted to transition a failed business venture into a new one.

Polanski had set up a sale of a jointly owned property in order for the transition to take place, but Dubanov opposed Polanski receiving the proceeds of the sale in cash and without Dubanov being present.

From there the dispute escalated until Polanski evidently decided to murder Dubanov.

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