Bulgarian PM Faces Libel Lawsuit over Tapegate Scandal

Domestic | January 18, 2012, Wednesday // 16:01|  views

Journalist Yavor Dachkov has vowed to file a defamation lawsuit against PM Borisov by the end of the week. Photo by BGNES

Journalist Yavor Dachkov has said he plans to file a lawsuit for libel against Prime Minister Boyko Borisov by the end of the week.

During a Wednesday press conference, Dachkov said he would file a civil lawsuit against Borisov over the Prime Minister's claims that Dachkov was involved in the manipulation of leaked phone conversations.

The "Tanovgate" scandal flared up in early January 2011, when the Galeria weekly, where Dachkov is Deputy Editor-in-Chief, released three tapes of discrediting conversations between Prime Minister Boyko Borisov, Customs Agency head Vanyo Tanov, Finance Minister Simeon Djankov, and Deputy Finance Minister Vladislav Goranov.

In one of the conversations Borisov was heard ordering Tanov to immediately pull out customs inspectors out of the "Ledenika" brewery owned by Mihail Mihov because he had promised the businessman not to bother him.

Mihov died on March 30, 2011 after suffering a severe heart attack.

During Wednesday's press conference, Dachkov explained that the tapes had been made using special surveillance devices and had not been manipulated, which had been proved by a number of different expert statements.

The journalist insisted that the tapes were authentic surveillance data gathered by the Interior Ministry during an investigation of Tanov.

He argued, however, that the tapes had been accessible for officials of the State Agency for National Security (DANS), who had recorded them using a simple sound recording device.

Dachkov suggested that the events had been part of a racketeering scheme which had been practiced for years by the top brass at DANS to exert pressure over businessmen and politicians.

He further claimed that the Deputy Director of DANS and the former Director of the service had been fully aware of the scam and had taken advantage of it.

Dachkov vowed to seek a huge compensation for the slander.

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Tags: Prime Minister Boyko Borisov, libel, defamation, Tapegate, Tanovgate, Customs Agency, Customs Agency head, Vanyo Tanov, customs agents, Mihail Mihov, Ledenika, brewery, DANS, State Agency for National Security, wiretapping


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