Vasil Bozhkov is returning to Bulgaria: 20 Charges in absentia in 3 Cases await him

Politics | August 25, 2023, Friday // 12:53|  views

The businessman Vasil Bozhkov announced on his Facebook profile that he is returning to Bulgaria this afternoon. Since January 2020, he has been in Dubai, and several investigations are being conducted against him in absentia and he has been declared an internationally wanted man.

"Today I'm coming home. After all the obstacles that the Geshev Prosecutor's Office and other instruments created for me. I will land in Sofia around 3:30 p.m.," wrote Bozhkov. The Ministry of the Interior promised to detain him at the airport.

About the return of the former gambling boss and former owner of the "Levski" football club, there was talk of the crisis at the top of the prosecutor's office. Then - again on Facebook, he said to Ivan Geshev:

"Sometimes a repentant sinner can be more valuable than a saint". During the procedure for early termination of the mandate of the former chief prosecutor, Bozhkov asked to return as a protected witness against ex-prime minister Boyko Borissov. His possible direct testimony that he gave money to Borissov through his publicist Sevdelina Arnaudova, at the request of ex-finance minister Vladislav Goranov - for which the three were in custody for 24 hours during the administration of the "Petkov" office, does not, however, change the fact that Vasil Bozhkov has 20 charges in absentia in 3 cases.

Therefore, as soon as he lands at Sofia airport - even at the border control, he must be detained for up to 72 hours in the case of possession and alienation of cultural and historical values, be taken to the building of the National Investigation, where, in the presence of a lawyer, he will be charged prosecution, to give explanations, if he so chooses, and then to be brought before the Sofia City Court, which will decide whether he should remain permanently in custody.

In the event that Bozhkov is not detained, the prosecutor's office is ready to request his detention under the so-called "gambling business" that started it all. According to it, he is accused of leading an organized criminal group that has been operating since 2014 and engaged in extortion, bribery, money laundering, official crimes.

There is another case against Vasil Bozhkov - for violent criminal acts - beatings, threats to kill and even murder. It was frozen because there was no way the businessman could be interrogated, which, if he came back, could already be done.

Bozhkov was investigated in absentia - and under Chapter One - crimes against the Republic, for having financed the protests in 2020 against Ivan Geshev and Boyko Borissov. Along with him, his relatives as well as his business partners were accused and spent some time in custody.

Bozhkov, for his part, claims that he was the victim of a crime, that he was blackmailed by Boyko Borissov, Vladislav Goranov and Sevdelina Arnaudova. The Sofia City Prosecutor's Office is working on the case, but there is no development in the case precisely because of the fact that Bozhkov was not in the country.

Vasil Bozhkov was one of the first three Bulgarians, along with Delyan Peevski and Ilko Zhelyazkov, to be on the first "Magnitsky" list. It says about him that he is a "Bulgarian businessman and oligarch who has repeatedly bribed government officials". These officials include a current political leader, as well as the former chairman of the now closed State Commission on Gambling.

Bozhkov planned to secure a sum of money for a former Bulgarian official and a Bulgarian politician in order for Bozhkov to be helped to create a channel through which Russian political leaders could influence Bulgarian government officials.

In connection with these allegations, Vladislav Goranov was included in the second edition of the "Magnitsky" list.

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Tags: Bozhkov, Bulgaria, Prosecutor


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