Bulgaria's FBI Interim Head Officially Installed

Domestic | June 21, 2013, Friday // 15:53|  views

The interim head of Bulgaria’s State Agency for National Security, DANS, Vladimir Pisanchev, recently vowed to retain the post if offered. Photo by BGNES

Vladimir Pisanchev, who was tangled in the "Galeria" spying scandal, has been officially appointed as interim head of Bulgaria's State Agency for National Security, DANS, widely dubbed the country's FBI.

A document, published on the government’s official site and dated June 20, says that Pisanshev is taking over the office of DANS chairman until a new head is elected.

Pisanchev was nominated Thursday by the country's new Prime Minister, Plamen Oresharski, who also accepted the resignation of DANS Director, Konstantin Kazakov.

The news comes a week after Bulgaria’s parliament hastily and without debates appointed shady media mogul Delyan Peevski, who was MP from the predominantly ethnic Turkish Movement for Rights and Freedoms, DPS, as Head of DANS, stirring a wave of protests across the country.

On Wednesday Bulgaria’s Parliament retracted the appointment of Peevski as head of DANS. The move however is unlikely to appease protesters, who have called for the government’s resignation.

Vladimir Pisanchev was born in 1963 and has been working for law enforcement and police since 1992.

The notorious operation "Galeria," in which DANS was exposed in unauthorized spying on journalists, MPs, and business people, started shortly after the Agency's launch in 2008 (during the term of the Three-Way Coalition, 2005 – 2009), over suspicions of leaks of classified information from its employees to the now-closed site "Opasnite" (The Dangerous).

The scandal flared when Members of the Parliament from the Parliamentary Committee on Home Affairs found their names in the lists of individuals illegally spied on by DANS.

Vladimir Pisanchev, then Head of the Security Directorate of DANS, was accused by one of these MPs – Socialist Tatyana Doncheva, of giving the green light to the unauthorized wiretappings.

He firmly denied the accusations, but was nevertheless dismissed by the DANS Head at the time – Petko Sertov. Sertov also dismissed Deputy DANS Chief, Ivan Drashkov.

Pisanchev insists Sertov knew about everything that was going on in the Agency.

After the Cabinet of the center-right Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria party, GERB, took office in 2009, Drashkov was reinstated at the post by the Court, while Pisanchev was brought back by GERB.

In 2012, GERB appointed Pisanchev Deputy Director of DANS, replacing Drashkov, who resigned.

Former DANS Director, Tsvetlin Yovchev, who was replaced by Kazakov, is the Minister of Interior in the Cabinet "Oresharski.

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Tags: BSP, Movement for Rights and Freedoms, Bulgarian Socialist Party, Tsvetlin Yovchev, Plamen Oresharski, resignation, police, interior ministry, Kalin Georgiev, government, Interior Minister, Tsvetlin Yovchev, Stanimir Florov, Konstantin Kazakov, State Agency for National Security, Ivan Drashkov, Petko Sertov, unauthorized wiretappings, spying, Galeria, Tatyana Doncheva, Vladimir Pisanchev, GERB, DPS


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