Bulgarian Democrats Stand Up for National Security Agency Head

Domestic | February 17, 2011, Thursday // 12:50|  views

The leader of Bulgaria's right-wing DSB party, Ivan Kostov, has urged PM Boyko Borisov to reject the resignation of the national security agency head Tsvetlin Yovchev. Photo by BGNES

Bulgaria's rightists have asked Prime Minister Boyko Borisov not to accept the resignation of the director of the State Agency for National Security (DANS), Tsvetlin Yovchev.

"Borisov has been led on to accuse Yovchev in unprofessionalism and to blame him for the eavesdropping scandal," the leader of the right-wing Democrats for Strong Bulgaria (DSB) party, Ivan Kostov, said on Thursday.

On Wednesday, Yovchev announced his resignation as director of DANS because of the government's consistent lack of trust in his skills.

"The decision on which employees to be involved in the eavesdropping of Customs Agency head Vanyo Tanov and his deputy, Antoniy Strandzhev, had been made by the Prosecutor's Office. It was taken on proposal of head of the directorate in the agency and Yovchev has no responsibility for it," Kostov said.

In his words, the employees who used special surveillance devices on Tanov and Strandzhev were not Yovchev's subordinates or friends.

"Since the prime minister has been led on, he has to seek responsibility from those who led him on," Kostov said.

The DSB leader has proposed to the member of the Committee for Control over DANS to request a meeting with Borisov, to present him with their conclusions for the role of the national security agency in the eavesdropping scandal and to ask him to reject Yovchev's resignation.

Last month Galeria weekly published transcripts of taped phone conversations between senior government officials and Customs Office chief Vanyo Tanov, which prompted Prime Minister Boyko Borisov to seek and win a confidence vote in Parliament on Jan. 20.

The tapes, whose authenticity is still not verified, allege that the government of PM Boyko Borisov is favoring certain companies and individuals with respect to investigations and appointments in the Customs Agency.

Yovchev was appointed Director of DANS after the prime minister accepted the resignation of the former head Petko Sertov at the beginning of August 2009. He took office on August 10 after President Georgi Parvanov issued a decree for his appointment.

When DANS was created in January 2008, Yovchev became the head of the Counter-Intelligence Directorate. He resigned in October 2008, citing personal reasons.

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Tags: Ivan Kostov, DSB, Tsvetlin Yovchev, DANS, Boyko Borisov, Customs Agency, Vanyo Tanov, Antoniy Strandzhev, Galeria


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