Bulgaria Appellate Court Reverses Key SAPARD Fraud Trial

Crime | August 2, 2012, Thursday // 20:02|  views

Controversial Bulgarian businessman Mario Nikolov. Photo by BGNES

Bulgaria's Sofia Appellate Court has returned for re-consideration an important trial against notorious buisnessman Mario Nikolov, who was sentenced for a massive abuse of EU funds.

In June 2010 Bulgaria's Sofia City Court sentenced Nikolov to 12 years in prison, and five other accomplices to smaller sentences for draining EUR 7.5 M of SAPARD funds.

However, upon the appeal of the sentence, the Sofia Appellate Court has determined that there are a number of procedural breaches and unclarified facts in the proceedings.

The Court of Appeals has not cancelled the defendants' sentences, but rather returned the case for re-consideration at the Administrative Court.

This is the second key judgment of current Supreme Administrative Court head, judge Georgi Kolev, that has been recently reversed by the second-instance court, recalls Mediapool.bg.

In mid-June, the Sofia Appellate Court acquitted Valentin Dimitrov, former chief of the Sofia Heating Utility, as well as other defendants, of prior sentences they had been given by Kolev on an embezzlement trial.

As Mediapool writes, both sentences were given by judge Kolev at a time when he was presiding the Sofia City Court and just before Bulgaria's Supreme Judicial Council appointed him to head one of the country's top three courts, the Supreme Administrative Court.

The legal process against Nikolov was provoked by revelations of EU anti-fraud body OLAF, according to which a group of 60 Bulgarian, foreign and offshore organizations had participated in tax fraud and money laundering.

Mario Nikolov, as well as other accused, are defendants in a second separate trial for money laundering.

We need your support so Novinite.com can keep delivering news and information about Bulgaria! Thank you!

Tags: Mario Nikolov, SAPARD, EU funds, fraud, money laundering, EU, OLAF, Georgi Kolev, Supreme Administrative Court, Supreme Judicial Council, Sofia City Court, Sofia Appellate Court, SAPARD, Valentin Dimitrov, Sofia heating utilitiy


» Related Articles: