Bulgaria's Ex Top Cop: Election Campaign Spiraled Out of Control
Tsvetan Tsvetanov, Former Interior Minister and deputy chair of center-right party GERB, has refused to offer concrete comments on the announcement of the prosecuting authority that there was sufficient evidence indicating that he had committed a crime.
The Sofia City Prosecutor's Office announced Tuesday that they were dropping charges against the three former directors of the Specialized Directorate Technical Operations of the Interior Ministry, Sergey Katsarov, Kamen Kostov and Tsvetan Ivanov, and Radko Dimitrov, an employee of the unit in connection with the unauthorized wiretapping case.
The Sofia-based prosecuting authority made clear that Tsvetanov, in his capacity as public official, had consciously allowed his subordinates to commit crimes.
Speaking Tuesday in the northeastern city of Aksakovo, Tsvetanov, who is touring the country as head of the election headquarters of GERB, said that the election campaign for the May 12 parliamentary elections had spiraled out of control.
"The election campaign went totally beyond the limit. Unlike the opposition, political party GERB will not involve in a smear campaign. We have always considered public interest to be of prime importance," Tsvetanov stated, as cited by the Focus news agency.
Prior to visiting Aksakovo, Tsvetanov was in the northeastern city of Devnya, where he also rejected comments in connection with the latest findings of the prosecuting authority on the wiretapping scandal.
According to Boryana Dimitrova from the Alpha Research polling agency, as cited by Sega daily, it is too early to estimate the impact of the announcement of the Sofia City Prosecutor's Office about Tsvetanov.
She says that the polling agency has so far detected erosion of support for GERB which is not accompanied by an increase in the popularity of the party's main rival, the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP).
The wiretapping scandal broke out at the end of March, when Sergey Stanishev, leader of the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP), submitted a tipoff to Chief Prosecutor, Sotir Tsatsarov, about illegal wiretapping of politicians, businesspeople and magistrates which had taken place during Tsvetanov's term in office (2009-2013).
At the end of last week, a secretly recorded conversation between former Prime Minister Boyko Borisov, former Agriculture Minister, Miroslav Naydenov, and already-former Sofia City Prosecutor, Nikolay Kokinov, leaked in Bulgarian media, stirring a massive scandal.
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