Chief Prosecutor: Criminal Feudal Lords Abound in Bulgaria

Crime | September 29, 2011, Thursday // 11:25|  views

Chief Prosecutor, Boris Velchev (pictured), firmly denies claims that his office had provided a cover up for notorious Roma boss, Kiril Rashkov. Photo by BGNES

There is a feudal lord with murky ties, high living standards and unpaid taxes in every Bulgarian town, according to Chief Prosecutor, Boris Velchev.

Velchev spoke for the media Thursday, saying that "20 such individuals" are currently probed by his office.

He further informed that there was a small amount of investigations against the notorious Roma boss, Kiril Rashkov aka Tsar Kiro, with some activity only on one of them while another one had been dismissed.

Velchev firmly denied claims the Prosecutor's Office had provided a cover up for Rashkov, adding that in order to dismiss all doubts the Inspectorate at the Supreme Prosecutor's Office of Cassations will issue a report later Thursday of their assessment of the case.

"This individual rises many questions, but he is not the only one. In many towns there are people like him, who are not from Roma background, most are ethnic Bulgarians, united around their common belief they should not be paying taxes. Some of them are being probed for over a month now, and no one knew that the incident in the village of Katunitsa will coincide with these probes," the Chief Prosecutor said.

When asked why the Interior Ministry and the National Revenue Agency, NRA, failed, for a long time to pay attention to what was going on in Katunitsa, Velchev replied: "Well, we are very interested now."

He explained that Rashkov had been provided security over information there have been threats on his life.

It was reported meanwhile that the youth organization of the opposition, left-wing Bulgarian Socialist Party, BSP, has submitted a day earlier hundreds of pages of documents, which they say were found near one of the houses of Tsar Kiro's clan, and include evidence of the latter illegal activities, unfiled claims against them, invoices for bank shares acquisitions and others.

Velchev said Thursday that the documents "contained some very interesting things."

Tsar Kiro came into the spotlight after the September 23 murder of Bulgarian youngster, Angel Petrov, 19, who was deliberately run over by a minivan, which, according to witnesses, was driven by an associate of Rashkov. The murder led to massive protests of the ethnic Bulgarians in the village of Katunitsa, where Rashkov's mansions are located. They culminated Saturday night into the burning of Rashkov's properties by football club fans from Plovdiv, which is near to Katunitsa, and by football club fans from the capital Sofia and the southern city of Stara Zagora.

On Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday night, protests followed in many major Bulgarian cities, including the capital Sofia. Nearly 350 people in total have been arrested by the police after the three nights of rallies that unfortunately involved what has been perceived as ethnic hatred.

Bulgarian authorities have frozen Rashkov's assets and property while he is investigated on tax evasion charges, the revenue agency has confirmed. Interior Ministry Chief Secretary Kalin Georgiev told the morning broadcast of Nova TV channel Wednesday that Rashkov, AKA Tsar Kiro, has been arrested.

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Tags: Chief Prosecutor, Boris Velchev, taxes, Plovdiv, sofia, clashes, ethnic clashes, ethnic violence, Roma, ethnic Turkish, ethnic Turks, Stolipinovo, protesters, protest rallies, protest rally, Tsar Kiro, Kiril Rashkov, riot police, gendarmerie, Katunitsa, Angel Petrov, police, gendarmerie, football club fans, skinheads, Blagoevgrad, Asenovgrad, far right, extremists, Kalin Georgiev


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