Imminent Charges Loom for Bulgaria's Roma Tsar

Crime | September 27, 2011, Tuesday // 17:42|  views

Long-time political rivals, Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov and President Georgie Parvanov (middle) shake hands during their visit in the village of Katunitsa. Photo by BGNES

Legal charges are to be pressed against notorious Bulgarian Roma boss, Kiril Rashkov AKA Tsar Kiro no later than Wednesday, according to information from the authorities.

The news was reported Tuesday by Prime Minister, Boyko Borisov, citing reports sent to him by the Interior Ministry, the National Revenue Agency, NRA, and the Prosecutor's Office.

Tsar Kiro came into the spotlight after some of his associates from the Plovdiv district of Stolipinovo ran over and killed 19-year-old Angel Petrov from the village of nearby Katunitsa late Friday. The incident flared large-scale violence and protests which culminated Saturday night in an attack on Rashkov's properties, allegedly staged by several hundred football fans.

In the following days, tensions in the Plovdiv region and the entire country escalated with more than 100 people arrested by the police in a number Bulgarian cities after a wave of small-scale but vigorous rallies Monday night.

The protesters rallied against Angel Petrov' murder, but also because of the "Roma issue," i.e. what they see as a "privileged situation" of the Roma minority in Bulgaria.

In the aftermath of clashes in Katunitsa, NRA auditors from Sofia began 18 probes of Rashkov's real estate properties and assets. On Monday, Borisov informed that another probe against the Roma boss had been launched 10 days before the incidents.

The Rashkov family was included in the list of individuals having properties worth over BGN 0.5 M. It had to be probed for sources of income and due taxes in 2010, but the probe never materialized. NRA Plovdiv offered the explanation that they "skipped" Tsar Kiro because his mansions in Katunitsa were erected as early as the 90s thus there was a 5-year tax prescription.

Borisov explained that only after legal charges are pressed, the Commission for Confiscation of Illegally Acquired Assets would deal with the properties of the Roma boss.

Regarding the meeting of the Consultative National Security Council, KSNS, called by President, Georgi Parvanov, the PM said that "stability in Bulgaria must persist because it guarantees economic and political growth of the country."

He further informed that he had talked to Parvanov Tuesday morning and they finalized the day of the meeting as October 1 at 2 pm since Borisov had to break ground in the morning of that same day of Lot 1 of the Struma highway in southern Bulgaria.

"The meeting is needed to give an opportunity to everyone to state their position. Those who believe that Roma must be "made into soap," and Turks must be chased away from Bulgaria will have to assume political responsibility. I insist that ethnic peace is the only way to guarantee the country's prosperity. Any other move, any other action is dooming us to failure and isolation," the PM declared.

It was reported meanwhile that Kiril Rashkov and his family were accommodated late Monday evening in the "Shipka" hotel in the capital Sofia, guarded by plain-cloth policemen. Hours later, however, Rashkov's son, a nephew and several other relatives left the hotel, escorted by the police. Tsar Kiro had also been led away through a side exit.

The family is going to be taken to an unidentified location, 80 km away from Sofia.

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Tags: KSNS, consultative national security council, Tsvetan Tsvetanov, GERB, Prime Minister, Georgi Parvanov, Bulgarian President, Katunitsa, Plovdiv, Roma, Kalin Georgiev, Todor Chonov, Tsar Kiro, Kiril Rashkov, ethnic clashes, ethnic tensions, football hooligans, arson, Angel Petrov, Stolipinovo, Presidential elections, local elections, elections 2011, 2011 elections, Commission for Confiscation of Illegally Acquired Assets


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