Bulgaria probing NZ shooter's Balkan visit

According to Bulgarian intelligence, the alleged Christchurch shooter visited Bulgaria last November and Serbia, Bosnia Montenegro and Croatia in December 2016.

Bulgarian authorities are investigating possible contacts the Australian man suspected of killing 49 people in two New Zealand mosques may have had when he recently visited the Balkans.

The shooter posted a video of the attack in which a Serb nationalist song from the Bosnian war in the 1990s can be heard. He also wrote the names of historical figures and places from Bulgaria, Serbia and Montenegro on his weapons.

Local news portal quoted Bulgarian state prosecutor Sotir Tsatsarev as saying the Australian had visited Bulgaria between November 9 and 15 last year on a flight from Dubai, according to Bulgarian intelligence.

Tsatsarev's comments came after a meeting with Prime Minister Boyko Borisov and other top security officials, the novinite.com news portal reported.

During his stay, the accused man reportedly visited several towns of historic significance, then travelled to Bucharest, the capital of Romania, on November 15. There he rented a car and drove to Hungary.

Tsatsarev said there was no evidence signalling terrorism-related activities while Interior Minister Mladen Marinov that there was no immediate indication that he arrived for anything but tourism.

The investigation of his movements and contacts continues in cooperation with authorities in New Zealand, US, United Arab Emirates and the Balkan countries, Tsatsarev said.

According to Bulgarian intelligence, the man visited Serbia, Bosnia Montenegro and Croatia in December 2016.

Published 16 March 2019 at 10:48am
Source: AAP