Bulgarian Chief Prosecutor Vows Tsvetanov Will Be Probed

Crime | May 23, 2013, Thursday // 12:05|  views

Bulgarian Chief Prosecutor, Sotir Tsatsarov, file photo by BGNES

The Prosecutor's Office has prepared motives for its request to strip from immunity former Interior Minister and current GERB MP, Tsvetan Tsvetanov.

Speaking Thursday for the media before the start of the meeting of the Supreme Judicial Council, VSS, Chief Prosecutor, Sotir Tsatsarov, noted that facts, proof, and evidence have been attached to the request to investigate breaches committed by the Member of the Parliament from the formerly ruling centrist Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria party, GERB, and former Interior Minister.

The above will be needed only if Tsvetanov makes a U-turn and decides to not give up the immunity voluntarily as he already pledged.

Tsatsarov assured journalists that Tsvetanov will be probed for unauthorized wiretapping and the prosecution will adhere fully to the law.

He explained that respect for the institution of the Parliament was preventing him and his colleagues to ask for the former Interior Minister's immunity in the first week of the work of the country's 42nd General Assembly when it elects its leadership, establishes rules and organizes its future activities.

The Bulgarian Watergate scandal unfurled at the end of March when Sergey Stanishev, leader of the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP), submitted a tipoff to Tsatsarov about alleged illegal wiretapping of politicians, businesspeople and magistrates which had taken place during the rule of Prime Minister, Boyko Borisov's GERB party (2009-2013).

On April 30, the prosecution announced that Tsvetanov faces charges of failing to exercise proper control over the use of special surveillance devices during his term in office.

Borisov was also questioned by the prosecution.

However, Tsvetanov could not be charged because he was immune to prosecution as a candidate MP in the snap May 12 general elections.

Three out of the four senior policemen, who were charged in the scandal with unauthorized spying, told the investigators they acted on Tsvetanov's verbal orders.

The admission made the latter the main instigator of the illegal wiretapping.

The cases against three former directors of the Specialized Directorate Technical Operations of the Interior Ministry (SDOTO), Sergey Katsarov, Kamen Kostov and Tsvetan Ivanov, and one Kostov's subordinate - Radko Dimitrov - are now frozen temporarily until the issue with the former Interior Minister's immunity is resolved.

Tsvetanov already declared on at least two occasions that as he has taken the MP oath of office, he was now ready to give up his immunity, leading to an indirect dialogue with Tsatsarov, who replied through the media that no one could give up their immunity without being asked to do so.

In other developments, the Chief Prosecutor informed his office was starting Thursday the detailed examination of the 350 000 ballots discovered on the day before the elections (reflection day) inside a printing house, suspected to be used to manipulate the vote.

The prosecution is going to examine all ballots one by one, which will take 10 days.

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Tags: SDOTO, Prosecutor's Office, SRS, special surveillance devices, Watergate, Chief Prosecutor, Sotir Tsatsarov, Sergey Stanishev, GERB, special surveillance devices, Boyko Borisov, Tsvetan Tsvetanov, wiretapping, ballots, printing house


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