Bulgarian Prosecution Clears Ex Colleague in Wiretap Case

Crime | June 11, 2013, Tuesday // 13:11|  views

The spokesperson of the Sofia City Prosecutor's Office, Rumyana Arnaudova, photo by BGNES

The Bulgarian Prosecutor's Office has not established evidence of crime or crimes committed by the participants in the scandalous conversation that was recorded by the unauthorized use of special surveillance devices.

The only crime found by the investigation is precisely the illegal wiretapping, committed by an unknown perpetrator, the spokesperson of the Sofia City Prosecutor's Office, Rumyana Arnaudova, explained at a briefing Tuesday.

She said the collected evidence pointed at a crime under article 339a of the Penal Code, which was within the jurisdiction of the Regional Prosecutor's Office.

The crime involves using, making, or trading classified information collected through special surveillance devices without a legal warrant.

The prosecution is yet to establish who and how recorded the conversation between Former Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov, former Sofia City Prosecutor Nikolay Kokinov and former Agriculture Minister Miroslav Naydenov, where they are heard discussing ways to impede court proceedings against Naydenov, who is charged with abuse of power.

Arnaudova said Kokinov's behavior might be reproachable, but was not a crime, thus pre-trial proceedings against him will not be launched.

Initially, legal experts said there was a long list of crimes stemming from the conversation such as obstruction of justice, trading influence, corruption in public tenders, abuse of EU funds, leaks of classified information, and unauthorized spying.

The conversation was also filled with profanities, vulgarities, and insults on the base of sexual orientation.

The development comes in the context of a wider 'Watergate'-style scandal shaking Bulgaria after the prosecution revealed findings showing that the Ministry of Interior under former minister and GERB vice-chair Tsvetan Tsvetanov practiced massive use of special surveillance devices in violation of regulations.

Then opposition leaders commented that Borisov's center-right Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria party, GERB, has used its term in office to spy on political and economic opponents. The scandal has contributed to an increasingly sharp campaign leading up to the May 12 early parliamentary elections.

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Tags: spokesperson, Sofia City Prosecutor's Office, Rumyana Arnaudova, Nikolay Kokinov, special surveillance devices, wiretapping, Tsvetan Tsvetanov, Boyko Borisov, GERB, corruption, prosecution, Miroslav Naydenov, Agriculture Minister, Elections 2013


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