Ex Bulgarian Interior Min Temporarily Avoids Charges

Crime | July 5, 2013, Friday // 13:59|  views

Former Bulgarian Interior Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov (c) is seen walking out of the Investigative Services Friday. Photo by BGNES

Former Bulgarian Interior Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov avoided being charged on a new count on Friday.

He was subpoenaed to appear in person at 11 am Friday at the headquarters of the Sofia investigative services.

The charges, however, were not pressed because his attorney, Menko Menkov, filed a request to withdraw from the case the current team of investigators and prosecutors on grounds they have attempted to deprive Tsvetanov of legal counsel.

Menkov says he has been taken recently against his will to the office of the Investigative Services to be questioned as a witness, which he sees as an attempt to leave the former Minister without a lawyer.

The attorney intends to notify the Supreme Judicial Council, VSS, and international institutions about the repression exerted on Tsvetanov by the investigators.

Tsvetanov also said he was repressed, and confirmed Menkov was taken for questioning against his will.

The former Interior Minister (2009-2013) is facing a charge of obstruction of justice for refusing 6 prosecutor's requests to grant a permit for the use of special surveillance devices during an investigation against Orlin Todorov, former head of Veliko Tarnovo's regional anti-mafia unit.

Prosecutors say Tsvetanov violated the Special Surveillance Devices Act and the Penal Code by refusing the deployment of special surveillance devices, SRS.

The alleged violation has been discovered during the investigation against former Interior Ministry official Stanimir Florov, who is believed to be a close ally of Tsvetanov.

Menkov says the charge is unfounded because in 1998, the Constitutional Court had ruled that an Interior Minister can refuse to grant the use of SRS even when there is a Court-issued permit for it.

Tsvetanov stated he was innocent, stressing every former and future Interior Minister could face a similar charge. He reiterated his earlier claims that he did not remember the particular case in Veliko Tarnovo.

A new summon will be sent to him to appear at the Investigative Services on July 10, 2013, at 4:45 pm.

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Tags: investigators, prosecutors, legal counsel, Menko Menkov, VSS, Tsvetan Tsvetanov, special surveillance devices, eavesdropping, Sotir Tsatsarov, prosecutors, charges, Tsvetan Tsvetanov, GERB government, illegal wiretapping, special surveillance devices, Interior Minister, Stanimir Florov, prosecution, organized crime, bribery


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