Bulgaria Discredited Ex Minister: US Ambassador is Cynic LiarDiplomacy | December 3, 2010, Friday // 09:14| views
Rumen Petkov resigned from his post as Interior Minister on April 13, 2008 after a series of scandals sparked allegations of corruption and mafia connections. Photo by BGNES
Bulgaria's former Interior Minister Rumen Petkov has slammed as lies claims that the US Embassy in Sofia duly informed him on the reasons behind the annulment of his non-immigrant visa.
"It is a fact that [US Ambassador to Bulgaria] James Warlick lies. I was invited at the US embassy in Sofia to discuss the electronic fingerprints for my visa," Rumen Petkov, former interior minister and current member of parliament, told the morning broadcast of private bTV channel on Friday.
"James Warlick lies in the most cynical way," said Rumen Petkov, who has gained over the years the infamous reputation of a vulgar and shady politician.
"Warlick lies that the two of us met at the embassy because I talked to the consul there," he fumed.
Petkov explained that at the meeting with the consul he made it clear that there is no information for a criminal investigation against him and recommended that the embassy double-check its sources.
Petkov harshly criticized the US Ambassador over what he called his support for a minister, who evades declaring the sources of his incomes, obviously referring to the current Interior Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov.
"Warlick has no idea what the situation is at the moment, but that's my own business."
Petkov, who has been accused by a German investigative journalist of controlling the trafficking of amphetamines from Bulgaria to Turkey and the Middle East, asked the ambassador whether he has ever taken drugs and hinted that he has lobbied for legalizing soft drugs in the country.
The statement comes a day after US Ambassador James Warlick broke the news that there is an ongoing criminal investigation against Petkov, which is the reason why his visa has been canceled. According to the envoy the former interior minister knows very well why the visa has been annulled.
Warlick denied any pressure from the current Bulgarian GERB government in relation to the case.
Last Wednesday The US Embassy in Sofia confirmed the previously reported annulment of Petkov's visa, based on information about a criminal investigation of him.
Rumen Petkov resigned from his post as Interior Minister on April 13, 2008 after a series of scandals sparked allegations of corruption and mafia connections in his department.
A wire-tap information leak from his ministry revealed that he had had a meeting in 2006 with Plamen Galev and Angel Hristov, a pair of suspected mafia bosses and benefactors at the small and impoverished town of Dupnitsa.
The two were acquitted at the beginning of November of charges for leading an organized crime group. In April 2009 Rumen Petkov was also found not guilty of any wrongdoing.
Last month a Bulgarian court cleared renowned German publicist Jurgen Roth, who was sued by Rumen Petkov over alleged slanders in his book about organized crime in Bulgaria, entitled "The new Bulgarian demons".
In the book Roth cites sources making scandalous statements that Petkov has relations to organized criminal networks and is involved in the production of synthetic drugs in Bulgaria.
According to high-level unnamed officials in the Interior, quoted by Roth, the former interior minister personally controls the trafficking of amphetamines from Bulgaria to Turkey and the Middle East, which was the practice of the Security Services during the communist regime. Petkov is also said to have met with criminal figures involved in drug production.
The investigative journalist has repeatedly confirmed that he stands behind every single word that he has written and would have done everything in the same way if he had to write his book today.
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