Bulgarian President Confirms Start of Libel Suit against PM

Domestic | February 5, 2011, Saturday // 15:44|  views

Bulgaria's PM Boyko Borisov has announced he was not worried about the President Georgi Parvanov's libel suit against him. Photo by BGNES

Bulgaria's President Georgi Parvanov has confirmed he has approached the Chief Prosecutor over accusations by PM Boyko Borisov that he had organized "Tapegate", a scandal with leaked discrediting conversations of senior government officials.

"The check by the Chief Prosecutor will be within the already started check on who has ordered the special surveillance devices, who has leaked the information from them and how,"Parvanov said, adding that he expects the check to be completed fast and the results to be revealed as soon as possible.

After the results are announced, Parvanov will decide what charges he will raise against Borisov.

The president has also stated that such scandals, as "Tapegate", have a negative impact on Bulgaria's image abroad, whether it concerns the interim report of the European Commission, the country's progress or the reports on Bulgaria's readiness for joining the Schengen Agreement.

"We are witnessing more and more darker spots [on Bulgaria's image]. For me, this is the biggest problem. Reports come and go every six months, but the damages on the country's image will remain for many years and governments to come," Parvanov said.

The "Tanovgate" 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 different 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.

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Tags: Georgi Parvanov, Boyko Borisov, Tapegate, tapes, conversations, Vanyo Tanov, Galeria, Aleksei Petrov, Customs Agency, Chief Prosecutor

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