Bulgarian PM's Chief of Staff 'to Be Indicted' - Report

Crime | April 28, 2014, Monday // 16:02| Views: 2306 | Comments: 0
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Bulgaria: Bulgarian PM's Chief of Staff 'to Be Indicted' - Report Mari

Mariya Divizieva, who heads Bulgarian PM Oresharski's political cabinet, is to be indicted over an EU funds abuse probe that has involved high-profile magistrates.

Reports by Mediapool agency, which cites sources from the State Prosecution, reveal that Divizieva could be one of the next to face charges over an alleged embezzlement as part of plans to introduce an information system in military courts under the operational program Administrative Capacity.

Veselin Pengezov, who chairs the Sofia Court of Appeals, and Petar Petkov, head of the Military Appellate Court, were summoned to the State Agency for National Security (DANS) and indicted earlier on Monday.

Divizieva, who in mid-2000s was hailed as one of the "young faces" in the so-called 'Three-Way Coalition Cabinet (2005-2009), was back then Deputy Minister of State Administration.

She was directly in charge of the EU's Administrative Capacity program when the controversial information systems project was launched in 2008.

Prosecution officials suggest now, on the condition of anonymity, that she helped military judges to frame up public procurement procedures and to backdate documents. Prior to heading the Sofia Appellate Court, Pengezov was a military judge and presided over the Military Appellate Court, which is now headed by Petar Petkov.

Divizieva, who is also the partner of Culture Minister Petar Stoyanovich, is "to be indicted soon", according to their unofficial information, and witness testimony will be provided as evidence of her involvement.

The Chief of Staff has so far not commented on the reports.

After his indictment at the DANS, Pengezov declared about ten more people will be facing charges over the issue. He believes the trial against him is strictly political and is related to his potential bid for another term at the Appellate Court after his first one expires on June 9.

Following the move by military prosecutors, Pengezov will have to be temporarily suspended by the Supreme Judicial Council.

It is yet unclear whether he will be tried before the Specialized Criminal Court, Sofia City Court, or a military institution.

The scandal erupted days after the procedure for a new Sofia Appellate Court was launched by the Supreme Judicial Council.

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Tags: Divizieva, oresharski, chief of staff, political cabinet, Pengezov, Sofia Appellate Court, military, EU funds
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