Bulgaria Chief Prosecutor Accuses Communications Regulator Head

Crime | November 24, 2009, Tuesday // 15:58|  views

The Bulgarian State Prosecutor's office has accused Veselin Boykov, head of the communications regulator, of failing to carry out his professional obligations. Photo by BGNES

The Bulgarian State Prosecutor’s office has charged the head of the Communications Regulation Commission with failure to discharge his obligations.

Bulgaria’s Chief Prosecutor, Nikolay Kokinov, announced on Tuesday that the head of CRC, Veselin Boykov, was to be charged with failure to implement a decision made by the Supreme Administrative Court, namely to issue a license to the Radio K2 station.

The Prosecutor maintained that material damage had been caused to the radio station by this failure to act in accordance with a court decision.

The observing prosecutor is now obliged to rule on whether Boykov should be temporarily removed from his post as head of the CRC, in order not to obstruct the investigation. Prosecutor Kokinov however stated that he believed this was not necessary, as he could not see how Boykov could cause any obstruction.

"By bringing an accusation against Veselin Boykov, the Prosecutor’s Office sets in motion a new wave of jurisdiction, which has been expected by the European Union for three years. From this moment on, it is important that no undue influence is exerted on the court," Iliana Benovska, the head of Radio K2, commented.

"People say that Veselin Boykov is protected by one of the most influential magnates in Bulgaria, who comes from the same region as Boykov,” she added.

“People in the MPs' and ministers' circles say that the intercession on behalf of Boykov reflects back on the very top levels, but we will see whether the executive power will try to influence the court,” she continued.

“It looks as though the Prosecutor’s Office is not influenced by anybody. But, according to the law, after an accusation has been filed, access to classified information has to be denied to him, and he should be removed from his position.”

According to Benovska, the damage that was inflicted on K2 were huge, and not only financial and moral.

"Someone put in huge efforts not to have an analytical news radio on air in Bulgaria, one that would not be in line with party and financial schemes. A serious proof of the quality of K2 was its nomination by the Bulgarian Helsinki Committee.

“K2 Radio was nominated for Man of the Year with the motives that it is fighting for a civil society in Bulgaria. Let us see whether Bulgaria wants to have a civil society; or is it that pluralism makes it uncomfortable?", asked the radio boss.

Some days ago, it became known that the state legal institution, in response to Benovska's warning, is also investigating the CRC head, concerning a bribe of EUR 300 000 allegedly requested by him. The money was for facilitating the starting up of the radio station, she claims.

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Tags: Communications Regulation Commission, Veselin Boykov, Iliana Benovska, CRC, Nikolay Kokinov, Prosecutor's Office, Radio K2


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