Bulgarian PM Almost Worried by Wiretapping Scandal

Domestic | April 17, 2013, Wednesday // 14:56|  views

Bulgarian PM Marin Raykov. Photo by BGNES

If true, prosecution findings of widespread violations in the Bulgarian police's wiretapping practices would be worrying, said Bulgarian caretaker PM Marin Raykov.

"An investigation does not yet mean a criminal charge. The prosecution's acts get their final legitimacy from court decisions," said Raykov.

"It it is confirmed that such [illicit] practices were in place, that would be a very unpleasant sign for the state of democracy in Bulgaria," added the PM.

The prosecution's findings, announced Monday, revealed rampant irregularities and lack of transparency in the way Bulgarian police uses special surveillance devices.

They resulted in prosecution against four directors and officers at the Ministry of Interior and provoked a heated debate as to the responsibility of Tsvetan Tsvetanov, who was Minister of Interior after 2009, the period to which the prosecution check refers to.

While opposition leaders urged Tsvetanov to withdraw from his leadership positions of former ruling GERB party, the former Interior Minister himself has said that the findings in no way implicate him in misdeeds.

Currently Tsvetanov is GERB vice-chair and campaign leader for upcoming early parliamentary elections May 12.

"I have asked Minister of Interior Petya Parvanova to sign permissions for special surveillance only in the presence of a colleague," said Raykov after Wednesday's cabinet sitting.

The caretaker PM also vowed that the government "will not remain blind" to the prosecution's findings and that it is sensitive to the public's interest in the matter.

The socialist (S&D) and liberal (ALDE) groups in the European Parliament have already issued statements that the wiretapping controversy in Bulgaria is worrisome on an EU level, urging Tsvetanov to step down.

The European Commission has this far refrained to comment on the scandal.

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Tags: elections, Marin Raykov, Tsvetan Tsvetanov, special surveillance devices, wiretapping, petya parvanova, police, democracy, European parliament, European Commission


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