Bulgarian Academy of Sciences Releases 'Tapegate' Analysis

Society | February 11, 2011, Friday // 09:04|  views

Taped discrediting phone conversations between key figures in Bulgaria have stirred a huge scandal in the country. Photo by www.sxc.hu

The recordings of the conversations of the Director of the Customs Agency, Vanyo Tanov, were made with special surveillance devices (SRS), per the conclusion of experts from the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (BAS).

The analysis was ordered by the Prosecutor's Office.

It remains unclear where the tapes leaked from and who leaked them, but according to the Prosecutor, the conclusions were made after a probe of the systems of the special "Operational and Technical" Directorate of the Interior Ministry.

All conversations were made as part of a contraband probe when Tanov's phone has been legally wiretapped, according to the BAS experts.

The analysis, however, did not establish if the content of the conversations is authentic or not, only that the tapes have been rerecorded through 6 different methods.

The Prosecutor's Office further informs the experts are to continue their work on analyzing the content's authenticity and are yet to conclude their investigation at the State Agency for National Security (DANS) and at other structures of the Interior Ministry.

The BAS report is 88-pages long and includes classified information. For this reason it is not going to be made public.

The "Tanovgate" scandal was triggered by three tapes of discrediting conversations between the Director of the Customs Agency, Vanyo Tanov, and his superiors – Finance Minister Simeon Djankov, and Deputy Finance Minister Vladislav Goranov.

The first tapes were released at a news conference held by the Galeria weekly, a paper believed to be the mouthpiece of Aleksei Petrov, former special agent of the State Agency for National Security DANS, (currently under own recognizence), who has been investigated on organized crime charges since his detention in the much advertised "Operation Octopus" in February 2010.

At another press conference, Galeria released a tape of a conversation between Prime Minister, Boyko Borisov and the Customs Director, alleging Borisov provided a cover-up for the owner of the "Ledenika" beer company, Mihail Mihov.

The tapes reveal that Borisov had called Tanov with an order to immediately pull the tax agents out of the factory and that the "Ledenika" boss personally complained to the PM.

In another tape, Tanov can be heard telling his Deputy, Antoniy Strandzhev, to keep the documents secure while he is away.

The latest "Tanovgate" chapter included a recording in which Borisov instructs Tanov to make sure Customs agent, Nikolay Vuchev, a friend with whom he often plays football, is brought back to work at terminal 2 at Sofia airport.

The offices of Galeria were destroyed by a blast on Wednesday. The perpetrator is yet unknown.

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Tags: Galeria, blast, explosion, sofia, Boyko Borisov, Vanyo Tanov, conversations, SRS, special surveillance devices, BAS, analysis, expert, Prosecutor's Office, DANS, interior ministry


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