Bulgaria's DefMin Formally Indicted over Abuse of Office

Crime | January 16, 2017, Monday // 11:50|  views

Bulgaria's outgoing Defense Minister Nikolay Nenchev. File photo, BGNES

The Sofia City Prosecutor's Office says it has filed an indictment against outgoing Defense Minister Nikolay Nenchev with the court.

Allegedly, two acts constituting "the same crime" inflicted substantial harm on the Bulgarian Armed Forces, according to the prosecution's press office.

Nenchev is accused of failing to ensure airworthiness of Bulgaria's aircraft fleet while he was in office.

That was supposedly done by prohibiting the implementation of contracts between the Defense Ministry and Russian aircraft corporation RSK MiG, the company servicing the planes used by the Bulgarian Air Force.

The documents bear a total price tag of BGN 3.77 M.

In addition, the minister in resignation failed to carry out his duties by not affirming a project that would have secured new spare parts for MiG-29 aircraft.

The violations Nenchev allegedly committed refer to the period between May and September 2015.

As a consequence of them, the flying time for Bulgarian Air Force pilots fell to 33 hours per year, in breach of the NATO standards of 180 hours or a national minimum of 80 hours. Lack of training potentially led to high risk of flying incidents, according to the prosecution.

They also caused an overburden of pilots on duty under joint air-policing missions of NATO and hindered the preparation and training of young MiG-29 pilots.

The indictment submitted to the Sofia City Court cannot be made public as it contains classified information.

This is the second indictment against Nenchev to make it to the court.

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Tags: Nikolay Nenchev, Bulgarian Armed Forces, RSK MiG, MiG-29


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