Bulgaria's Embattled Ex Top Cop Denies again Spying Claims

Domestic | April 27, 2013, Saturday // 10:53|  views

Tsvetan Tsvetanov, photo by BGNES

Bulgaria's former Interior Minister in the GERB Cabinet, Tsvetan Tsvetanov, once again firmly denied involvement in illegal spying of politicians.

Speaking Saturday in an interview for Nova TV, he stated he had not verbally ordered policemen from the Interior Ministry technical unit which deals with special surveillance devices, SRS, to illegally wiretap former Prime Minister, Boyko Borisov, former Agriculture Minister, Miroslav Naydenov, and Sofia City Prosecutor, Nikolay Kokinov.

In the wee hours Friday, a number of Bulgaria media received an anonymous email, including 15 scandalous audio files, from a server hosted in Russia. The message was signed with the name Boyko Naydenov Kokinov. The sender claimed he is a current employee of the Interior Ministry's technical unit and was sick and tired of being part of criminal activities as his team was constantly ordered by Tsvetanov to illegally wiretap officials.

Tsvetanov said Saturday he saw behind the scandal the long hand of the former Communist State Security and of organized crime, stressing it had all started with the leader of the Bulgarian Socialist Party, BSP, and former PM, Sergey Stanishev, giving the prosecution the anonymous tipoff of mass illegal spying on senior politicians, wealthy businessmen, and journalists.

"As a former Interior Minister I know plenty, of course. But it does not mean I have to say it now," he told the host.

In answering a question about the suspected mastermind behind the scandal, Tsvetanov mentioned Miroslav Naydenov, controversial former GERB MP, Emil Dimitrov, and notorious businessman and defendant, Alexey (Aleksei) Petrov.

"As it has emerged, Naydenov, Dimitrov, and Petrov have held meetings. By the way, the last time I saw Naydenov was on my birthday, April 8. I invited him because I learned his wife had filed for divorce and wanted to distract him a little. No one has any discrediting information against Borisov or myself and no one can hold us dependent. No way, it is impossible," he stated.

The former Interior Minister further accused Stanishev of national treason as he had sacrificed the country's national security and good image, and had assisted organized crime by instigating the scandal in order to score some points in the battle only days ahead of the snap May 12 general elections.

"When one works in the interests of the State, they should not be nervous or alarmed by the possibility of being spied on as they would not have anything to hide and the spying simply would not happen. I myself have always worked for the State and for the party and have nothing to worry about. Borisov said I was the engine of GERB, but the truth is that without Borisov, there would be no GERB. We complete each other. He is the one attracting the huge support ever since 2005. We built together a great team and a nationally responsible party to protect the interests of citizens and fight the status quo. I suspect this is the reason for the plot. There have been such plots to discredit previous Cabinets as well. As far as Naydenov, he is simply seeking revenge," he explained.

Tsvetanov hinted the Prosecutor's Office, led by new Chief Prosecutor, Sotir Tsatsarov, was taking the side of parties campaigning mainly through slander and speculations. He further said he did not expect others from GERB to follow Naydenov and attempt to discredit the party.

On Friday, Tsvetanov traveled to Germany for a working visit in the Bundestag. He reported Germany's unwavering support and trust in GERB. Security and fight against organized crime have topped the meetings' agenda.

Meanwhile, the Prosecutor's Office announced they were indeed launching a probe in the authenticity of the tapes, most likely recorded in Borisov's own home in Sofia's suburb of Boyana.

The prosecution is also holding a special press conference in the scandal on Monday.

The Chief of the National Investigative Services and former interim Chief Prosecutor, Boyko Naydenov, is the only one so far from the investigation to comment on the most recent developments in "Bulgaria's Watergate Scandal." He said the recording once again showed that there is plenty of crime in the country.

The taped conversation is filled with profanities, curses, vulgarities, and insults of prosecutors, politicians, and journalists, including ridicule of some of them over their possible sexual orientation.

The most insults are directed at Chief Prosecutor, Sotir Tsatsarov, with Kokinov blaming Borisov of handpicking him as it turned out he was not acting as expected.

The talk basically revolves around corruption charges pressed against Naydenov and Kokinov being in hot water over breaches he had committed, and ways for both to get out of them.

In commenting on the recording, Borisov said it was obvious there is a second, illegal Interior Ministry, which works parallel with the State institution to produce discrediting information about politicians and distribute slander.

He voiced fear his private home might be bugged as well.

The former PM stressed he had not listen to the tape and would not listen to it as he did not want to go near disgusting things, so he had no idea if the recording was fake or tempered with.

He, however, pointed out that in these days technology is capable of everything.

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Tags: Alexey Petrov, Emil Dimitrov, Nikolay Kokinov, Sotir Tsatsarov, Chief Prosecutor, Communist State Security, guards, Chief Secretary of the Interior Ministry, Kalin Georgiev, Rosen Plevneliev, special surveillance devices, wiretapping, Tsvetan Tsvetanov, Boyko Borisov, GERB, corruption, prosecution, Miroslav Naydenov, Agriculture Minister, Boyko Naydenov, Chief Prosecutor, interim, Chief of the National Investigative Services, Sergey Stanishev, Interior Minister, Prime Minister, Sofia City Prosecutor, BSP, general elections, Aleksei


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