Scandalous Bulgarian Tapes Manipulated - Prosecutor's Office

Domestic | January 19, 2011, Wednesday // 19:30|  views

Leaked tapes of conversations of Vanyo Tanov, Customs Agency head, have caused a Tapegate in Bulgaria in the past few weeks. Photo by BGNES

The tapes of phone conversations of senior officials that caused a "Tapegate" in Bulgaria have been manipulated, according to the Prosecutor's Office.

The Prosecutor’s Office announced the findings of the National Institute of Forensic Science at the Interior Ministry.

The conclusion of the experts is that the tapes are not original and have been recorded from one device to another, which has allowed manipulations.

The tapes, whose authenticity has already been questioned, were leaked recently by the Galeria weekly, which is believed to be mouthpiece of former secret agent Aleksei Petrov, arrested in the Octopus special operation in February 2010. The tapped conversations provide evidence of political cover-ups on part of the Borisov government for certain companies in Bulgaria such as Lukoil, Billa, and the Ledenika brewery, and also expose a conflict between Bulgaria's two Deputy Prime Ministers.

The forensic scientists have examined the three tapes containing conversations of Bulgaria's Customs Agency head Vanyo Tanov with Prime Minister Boyko Borisov, Finance Minister Simeon Djankov, Deputy Finance Minister Vladislav Goranov, and Antoniy Straldzhev, former deputy head of the customs.

According to the conclusions of the investigation, the tapes were created by re-recording original stereo signals using additional electronic devices, most likely a computer.

“The three tapes have varying levels and quality of the signal. The examination has found background noise with similar frequency characteristics and a signal with frequency and amplitude that repeats in the three tapes. This provides basis for the conclusion that they were re-recorded under the same acoustic conditions. At the beginning and at the end, there is a sound from a recording device or touching a microphone,” states the expert conclusion, which also adds that all three tapes exhibit a sound signal in the Windows XP Ding.wav format.

The experts are convinced that there are many unnatural deviations of the frequency and amplitude of the signal.

The examination has revealed “irregularities in the parameters of the syntax, intonation, and style of the expressions.

“The deviations described above in the amplitude and frequency characteristics and in the syntax, style, and intonation features could be the result of manipulations of the tapes,” states the expert position.

The experts point out, however, that the additional noise and the changes in the signal limit the opportunities to discover specific indications of manipulation.

The investigation of Tapegate continues, with additional conclusions specifically on the authenticity of the tapes being expected from computer expects and the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences.

“Tapegate” has already prompted the Cabinet of Boyko Borisov and the ruling center right party GERB to ask the Parliament for a confidence vote.

Earlier on Wednesday, the Parliamentary Committee for control of special surveillance devices announced that the telephones of Customs Agency head were wiretapped legally as part of an investigation of contraband and organized crime.

The Galeria weekly, the source of the tapes, has slammed the statement of the Prosecutor's Office about the "manipulated" tapes as inconvincing.

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Tags: Prosecutor's Office, Institute of Forensic Science, Tapegate, tapped, tapping, tapes, taped, Galeria, Vanyo Tanov, manipulated tapes


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