Bulgaria Notorious Former Road Fund Head Faces New Charge

Crime | March 20, 2012, Tuesday // 15:48|  views

Veselin Georgiev became publicly known as "Batko" (the Bulgarian word for an elder brother) after he was charged with awarding contracts worth tens of millions of levs to companies run by two of his brothers. Photo by Sofia Photo Agency

Another abuse of office allegation has been launched against the former head of the state-owned National Road Infrastructure Fund, who is already being tried for giving lucrative contracts to his brothers.

According to the indictment in the period October 24, 2006 - November 28, 2007 Georgiev breached the Public Procurement Act, incurring huge losses to the agency and the state.

The investigation against Georgiev began after an audit by the Bulgarian National Audit Office.

This is the second grave allegation against Vesselin Georgiev, who is already charged with awarding contracts worth tens of millions of levs to companies run by two of his brothers.

Sofia City Court referred in the middle of last year the trial back to prosecutors, saying it has been flawed from the very beginning – first the defendant was charged with one crime, to which another two were added later.

The trial has been repeatedly postponed after either the defendant or witnesses failed to appear at the court room.

The controversy that led to the freezing of the EUR 723 M earmarked to improve Bulgaria's dilapidated roads broke out following an investigation by the newspaper Kapital.

Georgiev resigned from his post under pressure from the media.

This is one of a number of large-scale schemes for siphoning public funds for the personal benefit of close relatives of high-ranking servants, which have been unveiled over the last three years in Bulgaria and which Brussels follows closely.

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Tags: trial, National Road Infrastructure Fund, Georgiev, Vesselin, Sofia City Court, Bulgaria, Brussels


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