GDBOP Officer Placed Under House Arrest for Espionage Charges

Politics | February 9, 2024, Friday // 08:42|  views

Georgi Karakolev

A GDBOP (Main Directorate "Fighting Organized Crime") officer, Georgi Karakolev, has been placed under house arrest on charges of espionage. The decision was made by the Sofia City Court, citing the serious health condition of Karakolev's wife and the need for him to care for their three children. Despite the house arrest, the investigation into the espionage allegations continues, with evidence being collected both domestically and abroad.

The court hearing was held behind closed doors at the request of the prosecutor's office due to the sensitive nature of the classified information involved in the case. Although journalists were not permitted to attend the hearing, it was revealed afterward that Karakolev had provided brief explanations to the court panel, focusing mainly on his family situation and health concerns. He denied commenting on the specific accusations against him.

According to the prosecutor's office, Karakolev is currently the sole defendant in the case, but investigations are ongoing to determine how he obtained sensitive information and whether he shared it with a SANS (State Agency “National Security”) employee. The prosecutor's office stated that additional charges may be brought against Karakolev depending on the evidence gathered during the investigation.

While the court acknowledged that there was a high degree of reasonable suspicion that Karakolev had collaborated with Russian state and intelligence services, there is currently no evidence suggesting that he received payment for providing information. However, the court deemed house arrest with electronic monitoring necessary to prevent Karakolev from committing further crimes.

The investigation into the espionage allegations has prompted scrutiny from various control bodies, including the Ministry of the Interior and the SANS. Following Karakolev's arrest, the head of Internal Security at the Ministry of the Interior was removed from their position, although the ministry denies any connection to the espionage investigation.

The court's decision to place Karakolev under house arrest can be appealed, as the investigation continues to unfold.

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Tags: GDBOP, espionage, house arrest, investigation


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