Contrary to the sniping of a commenter on my post a fortnight ago on the campaign to free Michael Shields (http://condensedthoughts.blogspot.com/2008/12/fa-by-name-fa-by-nature.html ), the unarguable evidence in his favour has finally been recognised by Justice Secretary Jack Straw (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/merseyside/7788070.stm ).
Given the snail-like pace of the legal process, however, it seems unlikely that Michael will be released in time for Christmas.
Everything about the conviction stank. The investigation by the Bulgarian police was amateurish & prone to basic errors. The "identification" of Michael by Martin Georgiev, the waiter who was attacked, took place in a police cell where Michael was handcuffed to a radiator; Georgiev was also still suffering the effects of his concussion from the attack.
The attitude & stance of the Bulgarian authorities throws a harsh light on their criminal justice system; like many former eastern bloc countries, Bulgaria still has a long way to go before it can be considered for EU membership.