Two-time world champion ice skater Maxim Staviski will not spend a single day in prison for causing one person's death and severely injuring another in a 2007 road accident, the Supreme Court of Cassation ruled on May 12 2009.
The ruling, which is final and not subject to an appeal, puts an end to a controversial two-year long court saga in which both the state and relatives of the accident's victims wanted Staviski to serve time behind bars.
On August 5 2007, Staviski crashed his Hummer vehicle into another vehicle along the Black Sea coast on the road between Bourgas and Sozopol. The court found him guilty of driving under the influence of alcohol, something he has denied.
He was given a suspended sentence of two years and six months, with five years' probation, for the crash that led to the death of a young man, Petar Petrov, and severe injuries to a 19-year-old girl, Mihaela Gorsova, who went into a coma after the incident.
He was also ordered to pay 90 000 leva in non-material damages and 4815 leva in material damages to Petrov's parents.
On October 27 2008 the Supreme Court of Cassation (SCC) ordered that the court case against Staviski be returned for re-trial. The SCC found that there were irregularities in the way the case had been conducted and Staviski should face a stiffer sentence.
On December 1 2008 Staviski said he wished to remain free to continue working to make financial amends for the damage he caused. He once again expressed remorse and said he expected a fair court ruling. Just before New Year's Eve he came to Bulgaria from Russia where he had had professional engagements in a popular TV ice skating show.
On January 5 2009 the Bourgas Appellative Court had ruled that Staviski should serve his sentence in jail and that he should pay not 90 000 leva but 120 000 leva in non-material damages.
Following this ruling Staviksi's lawyer, Rosen Kozhouharov, said he would appeal. This led to the most recent ruling that Staviski will not go to jail. The Supreme Court of Cassation also lowered the money he must pay to Petrov's family from 120 000 leva to 100 000 leva. Gorsova's family will get 90 000 leva, not 150 000 leva as was first mooted.