Source: French Lab Says Scandalous Bulgarian Tape AuthenticDomestic | January 28, 2011, Friday // 18:01| views
The editors of the Galeria weekly Kristina Patrashkova (right) and Yavor Dachkov (left). Photo by BGNES
An independent examination by a French laboratory in Paris proves that one of the scandalous tapes of Bulgarian Prime Minister Borisov's phone conversation is authentic, according to the Galeria weekly.
On Friday, the editors of the paper gave a press conference presenting the latest twist in Bulgaria's "Tapegate", a scandal with leaked discrediting conversations of senior government officials.
The "Tapegate" recordings have formally been leaked by two sources – the Galeria weekly and the marginal conservative party RZS ("Order, Law, Justice"), both of which are deemed to be connected with Aleksei Petrov, a former undercover agent arrested in a special police operation in February 2010, dubbed "the Octopus" and "the Tractor."
The tapes, whose authenticity remains disputed despite the fact that several institutions and alleged independent experts have come up with differing conclusions on whether they were manipulated, contain alleged information that the Borisov government is favoring certain companies and individuals with respect to investigations and appointments in the Customs Agency. All tapes are of conversations of Customs Agency head Vanyo Tanov.
The editors of the Galeria weekly announced on Friday that what they described as an independent French lab working with France's police and justice ministry have drafted a 15-page report showing that one of the tapes – in which Prime Minister Borisov asks Customs Agency head Vanyo Tanov to terminate an investigation against the Ledenika brewery and its owner Mihail Mihov, aka Misho Birata, - is absolutely authentic.
The Galeria editors Kristina Patrashkova and Yavor Dachkov said the check of the French experts cost them a lot of money and took five days.
They declared it refutes the conclusions of Bulgarian forensic experts that about several of the tapes that they were manipulated.
The Galeria weekly leaked the tape about the Ledenika Brewery on January 14, 2011, in what was the second batch of leaked Tapegate recordings.
The Galeria editors also refuted the claims made earlier on Friday by Prime Minister Borisov that the tapped conversation about the Ledenika Brewery was in fact 46 seconds longer.
The only thing that the Galeria paper revealed about the source of the leaked tapes is that he was from the Operational and Technical Operations Directorate of the Interior Ministry. This appears to confirm the concerns of the Borisov government that police officials might be involved in the leaking of what is seen as discrediting classified information.