5-Year Jail Term of Ex Registry Agency Head Revoked
The 5-year jail term of Violeta Nikolova, former head of the Registry Agency, was revoked by the Sofia Appellate Court on Friday.
In its Friday ruling, the Sofia Appellate Court fully acquitted Nikolova and Totka Stoilova in the trial for the bonus payments at the Registry Agency.
Nikolova was charged with embezzling BGN 53 000 and breaching a special ordinance of the Registry Agency on bonus payments.
In the October 2013, the Sofia City Court declared Nikolova guilty, handing her a 5-year prison term.
The Financial Controller of the Registry Agency, Totka Stoilova, was handed a 2-year suspended sentence with 3 years of probation and a fine of BGN 3000 for failing to exercise control over Nikolova's work.
Rayna Ivanova, then-director of the Registry Agency unit for administrative and legal services, was also a defendant in the case but she was acquitted by the court of first instance and the Sofia Appellate Court upheld the decision.
Nikolova's defense claimed that her steps had not incurred damage to the state budget because the sum of BGN 53 000 had been earmarked for salaries and had been used for that.
Nikolova was dismissed from the Registry Agency amid a scandal which revealed that she had received BGN 73 000 in bonus payments in 2011.
She argued that then-Justice Minister and current Vice President Margarita Popova had approved the money earmarked for bonus payments.
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