Source Strikes Back at Bulgaria's Prosecutors over 'Manipulated' TapesDomestic | January 19, 2011, Wednesday // 20:19| views
Yavor Dachkov (left) and Kristina Patrashkova, the editors of the Galeria weekly, during last weeks presentation of the scandalous tapes. Photo by BGNES
The source, which recently leaked scandalous tapes of senior officials' conversations, the Galeria weekly, has slammed the Bulgarian Prosecutor's Office for concluding that the tapes have been manipulated.
In a statement to the media late Wednesday night, the Galeria weekly criticizes the conclusions of the National Institute of Forensic Science, a structure of the Interior Ministry, which were published by the Prosecutor's Office.
"The multiple and deliberately complex technical explanations make it clear that the forensic scientists call the re-taping a "manipulation" by do not commit to precise conclusions with respect to the authenticity of the content. The conclusions do not say anywhere that the voices of the speakers, their words, and the essence of their conversations have been falsified or replaced," says the paper.
"We know from three independent sources and highest-ranking source in the Prosecutor's Office that these conversations are part of tapes made with special surveillance devices. Under the law, they must have been destroyed a long time ago, when the investigation against Customs Agency head Tanov was over. It is only logical that they were re-taped and the originals were destroyed. It is only natural that we would receive tapes recorded from the original, and we also re-taped and distributed," states the position of the Galeria paper.
The paper has submitted the tapes to a private lab for "independent examination" whose conclusions are to be announced in two days.
Its statement declares an expectation for the authorities to say if the contents of the conversations has been manipulated or is authentic; the paper says that two of the speakers – Vanyo Tanov and Finance Minister Simeon Djankov have confirmed "directly or indirectly" the authenticity of the tapes.
The tape 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. Aleksei Petrov has been in house arrest since September 2010, after he was initially kept in prison.
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.
According to the editors of the Galeria weekly, the tapes were dropped off at their office by an unknown person.
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