Bulgaria Former PM Stanishev May Escape Court

Crime | March 18, 2011, Friday // 15:44|  views

Bulgaria's former Prime Minister Sergei Stanishev has repeatedly accused his successor Boyko Borisov of pressuring the prosecution. Photo by Sofia Photo Agency

Sergey Stanishev, Bulgaria's former prime minister and leader of the opposition Socialist Party, is likely to steer clear of the court room despite charges over the leak of a classified report on organized crime.

"The prosecutor's office will make one more and last attempt to find the confidential documents, which triggered the investigation against Sergey Stanishev. This is the reason why the trial is being delayed," Bulgaria's senior prosecutor Boris Velchev said.

He explained that the trial against the former prime minister will be suspended right after the documents are discovered.

Late in October 2009 Stanishev was questioned over the concealment and leaking of the classified report, but denied any wrongdoing and described the case as provocation and undue use of "pressure".

He was officially charged in July 2010.

The contentious year-old top secret report by the National Security Agency (DANS), which sheds light on the influence of criminal organizations within certain ministries and state agencies, was mysteriously handed over to Prime Minister Boyko Borisov by notorious security agent Aleksei Petrov at the end of October and was unofficially published online days after.

Stanishev claimed he properly returned the report to DANS, as required by law. He also relinquished his immunity as a MP, in order to facilitate the proceedings.

In 2005-2009, Sergey Stanishev was the Prime Minister of Bulgaria leading a Cabinet of a three-way coalition made up of his Socialist Party, the ethnic Turkish Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS), and the National Movement for Stability and Prosperity (NSMP) of former Tsar and PM Simeon Saxe-Coburg.

In July 2009, Stanishev's Socialist Party was defeated in the general elections by Boyko Borisov's center-right party GERB.

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Tags: Boyko Borisov, Aleksei Petrov, National Security Agency (DANS), classified report on organized crime, National Investigative Service, Sergey Stanishev, DANS, Stanishev


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