US Embassy in Bulgaria Confirms Visa Annulment of Ex MinisterCrime | November 24, 2010, Wednesday // 12:57| views
Bulgaria's former Interior Minister from the previous, Socialist-led cabinet, Rumen Petkov. Photo by BGNES
The US Embassy in Sofia has confirmed the annulment of the non-immigrant visa of former Bulgarian Interior Minister, Rumen Petkov, based on information about a criminal investigation of him.
The statement was made Wednesday on the Bulgarian National Radio. However, no further explanations or details for the criminal investigation have been made.
The reason for the official statement by the US Embassy in Sofia was the publication in the Bulgarian daily “24 Chassa” (24 Hours) on Wednesday, which states that according to diplomatic sources, the US Embassy informed Petkov about the annulment of his visa.
In an interview for the Bulgarian private TV channel bTV earlier on Wednesday, the former minister did not give a direct answer to the question whether the publication was stating the truth.
“I was [in the United States] a month and a half ago. I have not been there illegally,” he said.
Petkov also accused his successor, Tsvetan Tsvetanov, of defamation because of the publication in “24 Chassa.”
“The source of “24 Chassa” was not diplomatic, but rather Bulgarian. There is no doubt that we are talking about the interior minister. Because he, in his effort to defame and refocus the center of the discussion, is participating in a smear campaign, which should have its institutional end,” Petkov said.
He accused Tsvetanov of trying to refocus the public attention from the discussion on the origin of his money and properties.
Bulgaria’s PM Boyko Borisov said he was surprised about the news for Petkov’s visa annulment.
“When primary figures are being publicly slapped in this way, it does not speak well for the whole country,” he said.
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