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Sofia Court Releases KTB CEO on Bail, Leaves Other Two in Custody

Crime | July 14, 2014, Monday // 12:01| Views: 2197 | Comments: 0
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Bulgaria: Sofia Court Releases KTB CEO on Bail, Leaves Other Two in Custody Orlin Rusev (2-R) was freed of custody for BGN 10 000. Photo by BGNES

Sofia City Court released Corporate Commercial Bank (KTB) chief executive Orlin Rusev on bail and placed Chief Cashier Mariya Dimova under house arrest, officials reported.

After a nine-hour-long session that started Sunday and ended early on Monday, it also decided that Chief Accountant Margarita Petrova and her deputy Borislava Treneva - Kyuchukova should remain in detention.

Rusev, who was detained alongside the other three over alleged embezzlement of BGN 206 M (EUR 103 M) from KTB, has freed of custody for BGN 10 000 (EUR 5000).

It was decided that Dimova, on the other hand, could not remain in detention due to health problems, and house arrest was the final court ruling.

The two accountants are due to be charged with complicity for allegedly helping Rusev and Dimova to misappropriate the sum between 2011 and June 19 this year.

The last version of the events outlined by Sofia City Prosecutors' Office comes after it initially argued the money had been withdrawn on a single day, or June 19, 2014 (just a day before KTB requested the Bulgarian National Bank (BNB) to be placed under special supervision) and that the banknotes had been taken out of the bank "in sacks".

Prosecutors Ivan Geshev and Evgeni Stoyanov, however, earlier quoted one of the defendants as saying she had "personally" brought sacks out of the bank and added her words gave them enough ground to look into the events.

Witness accounts cited by the Bulgarian National Radio suggest that the transaction was made upon the request of Tsvetan Vasilev, KTB's majority shareholder. Testimony of Vasilev's former partner Boris Lazov is considered to be among main reference point for the prosecution.

The defense claims the witnesses have never worked at the bank and have no knowledge of the way it functions. It also maintains there is "no evidence" any embezzlement was committed.

In a press conference on Friday last week, BNB claimed, basing its statement on the independent audit at KTB and other sources, that Vasilev had used "third-party" assistance to take the sum.

BNB made its point while at the same time announcing its final decision to suspend the license of KTB, which was Bulgaria's fourth-largest bank, and to nationalize its subsidiary Credit Agricole Bulgaria.

Central bank Governor Ivan Iskrov read the main findings of the auditors, which believed developments at KTB, where credit files worth BGN 3.5 B (out of a BGN 5.4 B credit portfolio) were missing, went against legal and good banking practices.

Vasilev himself disputes accusations from BNB and also from Chief Prosecutor Sotir Tsatsarov.

Last week he explained he has not been in Bulgaria since June 10 and could not have taken part in the scheme, but his comments referred to the "sacks" version.

He has not yet commented on the new charges.

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Tags: Credit Agricole Bulgaria, Ivan Iskrov, BNB, Sotir Tsatsarov, Evgeni Stoyanov, Ivan Geshev, Tsvetan Vasilev, Borislava Treneva - Kyuchukova, Margariva Petrova, Mariya Dimova, Orlin Rusev, Corporate Commercial Bank, KTB, Sofia City Prosecutor's Office, Sofia City Court, bail
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