Emiliya Kovacheva, the nurse-midwife who was caught beating a newborn baby in a video surveillance, is said to remain under arrest in accordance with a ruling of Sofia District Court of Appeal.
The decision has been imposed immediately after her 72-hour detention period ended on Thursday, ruling that she could commit another crime if released.
Kovacheva has been charged with attempted murder in line with the CCTV footage from the hospital that caused an enormous outrage and debate. The video appears to be showing Kovacheva hitting the 4-day-old baby on the head and grabbing the neck during a night shift at Sofia Med Hospital in Bulgaria in the early hours of April 18, 2015.
According to her, she was on a 24-hours shift at her own request at the time when the incident reportedly took place. She admitted to having hit the baby but has pleaded not guilty. “I ask to be released, I didn’t do anything,” she pleaded in court.
Kovacheva’s defense insists she should be tried for intentionally causing serious bodily injury of a minor child instead of attempted murder. Her family also strongly deny the accusations. “I can assure you that as far as i remember, she has not shown signs of any mental disorders. She is unable to do such thing with intent,” her nephew explained.
Her lawyer Vladislav Yanev also challenged the authenticity of the video. According to him, it was an absurd allegation for Kovacheva hitting an innocent child, claiming that she even asked a doctor to examine the child after she saw her bad condition.
The defense believes that the cranial trauma of the child is caused by other people insisting that the it may have been caused to a much later stage, and not the result of actions Kovacheva. They also believe that some parts of the footage may have been omitted and that there were no cameras to capture the actions of the other staffs.
Yanev noted that the midwife was forced to “slave” in a 24-hour shift because her family’s economic status, pointing out that Kovacheva was a single mother of two and a sole caretaker of her elderly parents.
Moreover, he stated that it is likely that her client suffers from mental illness and should do more in-depth investigation.
A sentence of 15 to 20 years behind bars is waiting for the midwife if she is found guilty on the matter.
Meanwhile, doctors at the Tokuda hospital, to which the newborn was moved after reports of the incident emerged, earlier announced that the baby was recovering from the injuries. They also believe that the damage caused by Kovacheva had not led to any impairment.