Fraud Trial Against Bulgarian Mayor Misfires

Crime | May 11, 2011, Wednesday // 11:50|  views

Mayor of Movement for Rights and Freedoms-dominated Kardzhali Hasan Azis. Photo by BGNES

The high-profile trial against Hasan Azis, Mayor of the Bulgarian town of Kardzhali, failed to kick off on Wednesday.

It turned out that Azis received a copy of the indictment bill six days before the trial, while the law says the defendant should have it at least one week in advance.

The Mayor does not live on the address he has given the Bulgarian Prosecutor's Office and this has been the reason for the delay, officials explained Wednesday, according the Dnevnik daily.

According to the charges, in 2009 Azis intentionally misled Asen Gagauzov (at the time minister of regional development) and Plamen Oresharski (at the time Finance Minister) regarding the value of a land lot on which a river bank reinforcement project was to be carried out. It was part of a project known as the "Water Mirror".

Azis allegedly specified a price around ten times higher than the actual one. The difference would have incurred losses of over BGN 8 M for the two Ministries, but the attempt failed.

If convicted, Hasan Azis faces between one and eight years behind bars.

Azis is a representative of the MovementĀ for Rights and Freedoms, a liberal party associated with the sizable Turkish minority in Bulgaria.

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Tags: mayor, Hasan Azis, Kardzhali, Water Mirror, Plamen Oresharski, Asen Gagauzov, trial


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