Court Removes Bulgarian Mayor on Embezzlement Charges

Crime | August 28, 2012, Tuesday // 16:19|  views

Dimitar Sotirov was serving his fourth term as mayor of the Kuklen Municipality when he was arrested on embezzlement charges. Photo from

The Plovdiv Appellate Court has confirmed the removal from office of Dimitar Sotirov, Mayor of the southern Bulgarian municipality of Kuklen on embezzlement charges.

Sotirov's deputy, Ivan Apostolov, has also been removed on the same charges, Darik Radio reported, adding that the Appellate Court in Plovdiv has upheld the ruling of the Plovdiv District Court made a few days ago, which was appealed by the Kuklen Mayor and his deputy.

The mayor of the Southern Bulgarian municipality of Kuklen, Dimitar Sotirov, who was nabbed on embezzlement charges, has been released on a BGN 10 000 bail.

His deputy, Ivan Apostolov, who was also arrested on the same charges, was released on a BGN 5 000 bail last week.

The Prosecutor's Office had demanded that the two men be removed from their offices in order not to interfere with the embezzlement investigations against them.

Sotirov and Apostolov were arrested two weeks ago in a special operation. The Kuklen Mayor Sotirov was arrested on charges of embezzling a total of BGN 49 571 from municipal funds, and on five other counts of criminal breach of trust.

His deputy, Apostolov, was nabbed on charges of embezzling BGN 3 385, and on two other counts.

Sotirov's lawyer Zoya Toshkova claimed that the accusations are unfounded, and there is no evidence against her client; she argued against his removal from office, stating that he did not interfere with the investigation in the past three months, even though he apparently was aware that it was ongoing.

Dimitar Sotirov was serving his fourth term as mayor of the Kuklen Municipality in the Plovdiv District; it has a population of 6 500, and is known for an industrial zone located on its territory.

In addition to the embezzlement charges, Sotirov's alleged criminal breach of trust is connected with several public procurement contracts for construction and sewage services that are said to have incurred losses of almost BGN 1 M to the municipality.

Deputy Mayor Apostolov is said to have used the labor of municipal employees for working on his personal property.

Sotirov may get up to 20 years in jail, while Apostolov can be sentenced to up to 10 years in jail.

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Tags: Dimitar Sotirov, Ivan Apostolov, mayor, Deputy Mayor, embezzlement, criminal breach of trust, public procurement, Kuklen, Plovdiv Appellate Court, Kuklen Mayor


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