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Ex Interior Minister Faces 5-Year Jail Term over Embezzlement

Crime | May 22, 2014, Thursday // 12:30| Views: 2216 | Comments: 0
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Bulgaria: Ex Interior Minister Faces 5-Year Jail Term over Embezzlement Former Interior Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov (R) faces a penalty of five years of imprisonment in an embezzlement trial. Photo by BGNES

The prosecuting authority has requested a penalty of 5 years of imprisonment for former Interior Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov in an embezzlement trial.

The fast-track trial against Tsvetanov, currently Deputy Chair of center-right party GERB (Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria), was launched on March 26.

Tsvetanov has been charged with large-scale embezzling to the tune of BGN 50 000 from the budget of the Interior Ministry.

The sum was embezzled to the benefit of another person, Orlin Todorov, former head of the anti-mafia unit (GDBOP, the Interior Ministry's Chief Directorate Combating Organized Crime) in Veliko Tarnovo.

The prosecuting authority pressed embezzlement charges against Tsvetanov on November 22, 2013.

Tsvetanov is believed to have embezzled the money from the budget of the Interior Ministry in the period December 23, 2011 – May 2012 with a view to securing a profit for Orlin Todorov.

Todorov was paid a salary for the time of his removal from office and compensations under the Interior Ministry Act amounting to a total of BGN 50 000.

Tsvetanov was imposed a remand measure of signed promise for appearance during the proceedings and the prosecuting authority banned him from leaving Bulgaria.

During Thursday's sitting, Stanimir Florov, former GDBOP head, and former interim Interior Minister Petya Parvanova, were questioned at the Sofia City Court.

The first trial to reach court stage of the three indictments against Tsvetanov was the one concerning blocked permits for the use of special surveillance equipment.

Tsvetanov was charged with obstructing six of special surveillance equipment permits which had been issued by judges. Three of the six permits were for Orlin Todorov, former director of the GDBOP unit in Veliko Tarnovo.

This trial is in a most advanced stage and the closing statements are due on May 29, according to reports of Sega daily.

The third trial against Tsvetanov is to be launched on May 30. The case concerns illegal wiretapping. Tsvetanov is one of the defendants, alongside the three former directors of the Specialized Directorate "Operational Technical Operations", previously a unit of the Interior Ministry.

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Tags: Tsvetan Tsvetanov, embezzlement, GERB, Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria, former interior minister, special surveillance devices, Orlin Todorov, GDBOP, Chief Directorate, anti-mafia, organized crime, Stanimir Florov, illegal wiretapping
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