Bulgaria's Ex-Interior Min Trial Misfires Again

Crime | February 13, 2014, Thursday // 10:48|  views

Former Bulgarian Interior Minister in the GERB cabinet, Tsvetan Tsvetanov, photo BGNES

The Sofia City Court had to postpone once again Thursday the first case against former Bulgarian Interior Minister in the GERB Cabinet, Tsvetan Tsvetanov.

Tsvetanov appeared in court, but the session was adjourned after it emerged that his defense counsel, Menko Menkov, was ill with a respiratory problem.

The first session back in October also backfired because presiding judge Dimitrina Angelova withdrew after tabloid publications she had an affair with Menkov, though both firmly denied it.

The Sofia City Court then appointed a new judge for the high-profile trial. The new panel of judges, chosen by the system for random distribution of cases, is headed by Toni Getov.

Tsvetanov is charged on three counts.

In the case that was scheduled to be tried Thursday, the former Minister faces charges of blocking six court-approved permits to use special surveillance devices against Orlin Todorov, former head of the Interior's Chief Directorate "Combating Organized Crime" (GDBOP) in Veliko Tarnovo.

Tsvetanov, who is an MP from the opposition center-right Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria party, GERB, has been charged on two other counts - large-scale embezzlement (BGN 50 000) to the benefit of Orlin Todorov, and failing to exercise proper oversight over Interior Ministry officials in charge of implementing special surveillance equipment, as result of which unauthorized wiretapping took place.

Tsvetanov gave up his MP immunity in order to face justice.

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Tags: Menko Menkov, Orlin Todorov, GERB, Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria, Tsvetan Tsvetanov, Sotir Tsatsarov, Chief Prosecutor, special surveillance devices, wiretapping, mp immunity, embezzlement, GDBOP


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