Sofia Appelate Court Chair to be Tried over EU Funds
Veselin Pengezov, Chair of the Sofia Appelate Court, has been summoned by Sofia Military District Prosecutor's Office to de indicted over misuse of European funds.
Petko Petrov, who chairs the Military Appelate Court, will be indicted on the same charge. The terms of both men are to end June 9, and both were pointed as likely to have another term in office.
A trial against them would however put an end to their aspirations.
It was revealed that an investigation had been in place since 210 and was related to a EU-funded project involving the introduction of an new information system in military courts, which was carried out under the operational program Administrative Capacity.
The probe was launched by the EU funds fraud department with the Sofia's City Prosecutor's office, but the case was later redirected to the military prosecution, as Pengezov was in the army in 2010.
Judicial sources cited by Dariknews suggest the investigation was into "manipulated" public procurement related to the project, document fraud.
Sotir Tsatsarov, Bulgaria's Chief Prosecutor, revealed a total of 81 witnesses had been interrogated, with Maria Divizieva, Chief of Staff in Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski's cabinet, among them.
The newspaper Kapital Daily has quoted Pengezov as saying that accusations were "ordered" against him as part of a campaign ahead of the upcoming election of Sofia Appelate Court chair.
Chief Prosecutor Tsatsarov however dismissed claims that "political motives" were behind Pengezov and Petkov's summoning.
Pengezov took over the Sofia Appellate Court in June 2009 amid opposition on part of other judges in the court. Before that he was the head of the Military Prosecutor's Office, and is known to have been in conflict with former Chief Prosecutor Nikola Filchev (who was in charge in 1999-2006).
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