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DOCTOR DUCKS QUESTIONS, RETURNS TO JAIL

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Bojidar Bakalov, a Bulgarian doctor once convicted of raping a Salt Lake woman, was back in court Wednesday - but not for long.

Third District Judge Michael Murphy sent him back to jail last week because Bakalov repeatedly dodged questions the judge posed to him. Murphy told the stubborn thoracic surgeon his case would stay on hold and he'd remain incarcerated until he answered the questions."We may do (this) for the rest of his natural life," the judge said.

Wednesday, Murphy again asked Bakalov if he understands that if convicted of the rape charge, he could be sent to prison for at least five years. But, as in previous hearings, Bakalov didn't respond.

Instead, Bakalov called the situation a "fantasy," complained that he is being illegally detained and demanded more papers and pencils. Murphy declared the hearing over and said he'd try to get an answer from him again on June 10.

Bakalov was convicted of raping a Salt Lake woman in 1991, but the Utah Supreme Court overturned his conviction because he was not allowed to represent himself during the trial. Murphy's question was one of several he is asking Bakalov to make a legal determination that he is knowingly giving up his right to be represented by an attorney.

Bakalov, who came to University Hospital in 1990, has repeatedly complained about his Bulgarian interpreters. He said he does know Spanish, however, and in another bizarre twist in the case, he spoke through a Spanish interpreter Wednesday.

As he was leaving the court, Bakalov ironically demanded a speedy trial.