Bulgaria’s Ex-Interior Min to Be Charged with Obstruction of Justice

Crime | July 10, 2013, Wednesday // 10:21|  views

Bulgaria's former Interior Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov. Photo by BGNES

Former Bulgarian Interior Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov is expected to be officially charged on a new count on Wednesday.

Tsvetanov has been summoned to appear at the headquarters of the Sofia investigative services.

He avoided being charged last week, as 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 his client of legal counsel.

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.

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

Tsvetanov’s lawyer says the charge is unfounded because in 1998, the Constitutional Court had ruled that an Interior Minister can refuse to grant the use of special surveillance devices 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.

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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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