Official Charges Pressed against Bulgaria's Ex Health Minister

Crime | January 27, 2011, Thursday // 14:55|  views

Former Health Minister, Bozhidar Nanev, is the first minister from the GERB cabinet to face the magistrates over charges of signing deals unfavorable for the State. Photo by BGNES

The trial against former Health Minister, Bozhidar Nanev, is entering the Court, the Prosecutor's Office announced.

Nanev is charged with concluding an unprofitable for the State deal for anti-flu medication and depriving the treasury with BNG 2.45 M.

The case will be tried by the Sofia City Court

This is the first minister from the cabinet of the Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria (GERB) party of Prime Minister, Boyko Borisov, to face the magistrates.

The other defendant in the case is Dimitrinka Nikolova, the Head of the Budget and Accounting Directorate at the Health Ministry during Nanev's term.

The two are charged because in December 2009 they have signed two contracts with the "Roche Bulgaria" company for the delivery of the antiviral medicine Tamiflu. This was at the time of the swine flu (A1H1 virus) epidemic in Europe and in Bulgaria. The country was experiencing severe shortage of anti-flu remedies and the Ministry spent BGN 6.5 M on the contracts.

The delivery, however, arrived after the end of the epidemic and almost all 200 000 dozes remained unused.

It was also revealed that the British National Health Services had a better offer for suppliyng antiviral medication than "Roche."

The deal with the Brits was initially approved by Nanev, but it fell through over numerous legal entrapments that would delay the delivery indefinitely.

The difference of BGN 2.45 M between the "Roche" and the UK price is precisely the amount for which Nanev is facing charges from the prosecutor for depriving the treasury.

At the time the charges were first announced, at the end of March, 2010, Nanev resigned, just hours after the news broke.

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Tags: swine flu, Prosecutor, Bozhidar Nanev, tamiflu, Roche


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