Bulgaria's GERB Vows Support of Probe of Communist Era Files

Domestic | February 21, 2012, Tuesday // 16:01|  views

Evtim Kostadinov, Chair of the so-called Files Commission. Photo by BGNES

The ruling Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria party, GERB, is endorsing the Chairman of the so-called Files Commission, Evtim Kostadinov, for a second term.

The information was reported by Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister, Tsvetan Tsvetanov, during a conference where the Commission accounted for its work in their first 5-year term.

GERB is also supporting Ekaterina Boncheva for another five years as member of the Commission.

The Files Commission is a panel in charge of investigating the Communist era secret files and of exposing people at senior positions as agents of collaborators of the former Communist State Security, DS.

Kostadinov was nominated in 2007 by the now opposition left wing, while Boncheva by the Bulgarian People's Union, which no longer has parliamentary seats. The ruling GERB, however, seriously praise their objectivity and hard work.

"Kostadinov was nominated by the former majority, but he had been unwavering in providing the truth to the public," Tsvetanov said, adding that the consultations for the future team of the Commission have already begun in order to secure a smooth transition.

The names of the two other members to be nominated by GERB are yet unknown. It is expected that Valery Katsunov, who in 2007 was the choice of the right wing, Orhan Ismailov – of the ethnic Turkish Movement for Rights and Freedoms, DPS, and Apostol Dimitrov – of the left wing will also keep their posts.

The Parliament is the one making the final decision, but no party can have a majority in the Commission.

The participants in the forum strongly criticized the decision of a team of magistrates from the Supreme Administrative Court to ask the Constitutional Court to revoke the text allowing the exposure of people who only have the so-called DS allegiance cards without any other documents attached to them.

Tsvetanov says this is an attempt to conceal the truth and vowed that GERB will demand full disclosure of all available data, including on the so-called "credit millionaires," bankers, and college presidents.

Kostadinov reminded that many documents, precisely of figures that were important for DS, have been destroyed.

One of the crucial changes requested by the Files Commission is the right to reexamine institutions which have already been checked when there are reshuffles in their top management. Under current legislation, new senior officials at already probed institutions cannot be subject to a probe. The probe is mandatory for Members of the Parliament and cabinet ministers, but not for other high-ranking individuals.

The other requested change is to give the Commission the authority to not only probe the credit millionaires, but expose their names since the latter is not allowed under current legislation.

The Commission further wants to have all people who held public posts since the beginning of the Transition Period in 1989, after the fall of Communism, to be checked because currently some are checked only for posts held after 2006, when the Act for Access and Publication of Documents and Reporting of Association of Bulgarian Citizens with DS and Intelligence Services of the Bulgarian Army was passed.

"The ruling party will provide the needed support for the second-term of the Commission. The opening of these files should have happened a long time ago, as early as the beginning of the 90s of the past century, but it was blocked many times. It the truth had been revealed earlier, Bulgaria would not have had a DS agent known by the alias Gotse as two-term President," Tsvetanov said, aiming at Georgi Parvanov, who left office in January.

The blacklist of former state security agents and collaborators already features now-ex President and former Socialist leader, Georgi Parvanov, former constitutional judges, supreme magistrates, investigators, members of parliament, prominent and well-known former and current Bulgarian journalists, as well as ambassadors and diplomats abroad.

Recent revelations that eleven out of a total of fifteen Bulgarian Metropolitan bishops were former DS agents stirred huge outrage in Bulgaria.

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Tags: institutions, senior officials, public office, Files Commission, metropolitan bishops, communist, agents, State Security, State Security, Evtim Kostadinov, credit millionaires, Tsvetan Tsvetanov, DPS, right wing, left wing, GERB, Supreme Administrative Court, Constitutional Court, Ekaterina Boncheva


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