Bulgarian Ambassador to EU to Testify in Road Fund Case

Domestic | December 22, 2009, Tuesday // 15:40|  views

The Bulgarain Ambassador to the EU will be called to testify in the ongoing court case investigating allegations of conflict of interest by Vesselin Georgiev (pictured). Photo by BGNES

The Bulgarian Ambassador to the European Union, Boyko Kotsev, will be called upon to testify in a legal case of conflict of interest involving the former head of the Bulgarian National Road Infrastructure Agency, Vesselin Georgiev.

Kotsev will be asked to disclose information about the European Commission’s decision to suspend Bulgarian project funding as a result of accusations of conflict of interests brought against Georgiev concerning an alleged criminal breach of trust in the period July 2006 - November 2007.

Following investigations by Bulgarian newspapers, which alleged that Vesselin Georgiev had approved contracts between the ISPA fund managed by him and companies run by his brothers Boyko and Emil Georgiev, the EU had demanded an explanation from the Bulgarian Ministry of Finance.

The Ministry conducted its own enquiry, which it submitted to the European Commission. They concluded the report was incomplete, and set up their own audit and investigation via the KPMG consultancy firm.

KPMG had concluded that a conflict of interest existed, but names were not mentioned and the persons involved were labeled with X, Y and Z. Vesselin Georgiev was forced to resign from his position in February 2008, as the EC suspended payment of funding.

Testifying on Tuesday, former Deputy Finance Minister Lyubomir Datzov stated that he did not know their identity, but suggested that it was possible that the names had been reported to the then Finance Minister Plamen Oresharski, and that he was aware of who they were. He also alleged that Deputy Minister Dimitar Ivanovski had been responsible for these issues.

At a previous hearing, however, Ivanovski had stated that the contents of letters from the EC were familiar to Oresharski and Datzov. "Datzov and Oresharski know everything, they controled, correspondence went through them, I have not been involved,” Ivanovski had said in his own defense.

The next hearing of the case has been scheduled for February 10, 2010.

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Tags: Veselin Georgiev, Boyko Kotsev, KPMG, conflict of interests, National Road Infrastructure Fund


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