Ex Conflict of Interest Commission Chief To Spend 3.5 Years in Prison
The Sofia City Court sentenced Filip Zlatanov, former Chair of the Commission on Prevention and Ascertainment of Conflict of Interest (CPACI), to three-and-a-half years in prison.
The trial, which started on March 31, involved a covered-up probe of President Rosen Plevneliev and delayed decisions on two other cases, according to reports of the Bulgarian National Radio.
Zlatanov requested fast-track proceedings.
The prosecuting authority demanded a 3-year suspended sentence with 5 years of probation for the former Chair of CPACI.
In mid-July 2013, Bulgaria's prosecuting authority pressed charges of malfeasance in office against the Chair of CPACI, with Deputy Chief Prosecutor Borislav Sarafov citing excerpts from a "very interesting notebook" seized from Zlatanov's desk, indicating that he had received instructions about the progress of certain cases.
"Zlatanov complied with the instructions – to strike, to postpone, to delay, and even to conceal cases," Sarafov stated then, adding that the people mentioned in the notebook included Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev, as well as E.D., MP of GERB, I.F., B.B., and Ts. Ts.
The people behind the initials are believed to be Iskra Fidosova, a leading figure in center-right party Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria (GERB) and former Chair of the Parliamentary Legal Committee, Boyko Borisov, GERB leader and former Prime Minister, GERB Deputy Chairman and former Interior Minister, Tsvetan Tsvetanov, and GERB MP Emil Dimitrov.
Borisov and Tsvetanov firmly denied involvement.
The scandal led to Fidosova's resignation as lawmaker.
Zlatanov adamantly rejected reports that the notes in his infamous personal notebook were instructions for his work, adding that they had been his own ideas and remarks.
Asked to shed light on the scheme involving I.F., B.B., and Ts. Ts. contained in his notebook, he said that he could not remember whom he had had in mind, adding that he had simply "jotted something down at a certain moment."
Zlatanov was removed from office in October 2013.
The Sofia City Court made clear that Zlatanov's notebook had not been part of the evidence.
Zlatanov was charged with violating official duties, thereby eroding public trust in the activities of the CPACI as an independent authority.
According to the indictment, Zlatanov committed illegal activities in the probes against Rosen Plevneliev, his former advisor and former Deputy Chair of the Financial Supervision Committee Dimana Rankova, and former chief auditor of the Bulgarian National Audit Office Lidia Buneva.
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