Bulgaria’s High-Profile Anti-Mafia Case ‘Octopus’ Re-Launched
The Sofia City Court has re-launched the high-profile anti-mafia case known as "Octopus."
The trail was launched after a police operation against organized crime dubbed “Octupus” conducted in February 2010 during the first term in office of Prime Minister Boyko Borisov, according to reports of dnevnik.bg.
During the police operation, organized by the Chief Directorate for Combatting Organised Crime (GDBOP), around a dozen of people were arrested, including Alexei Petrov, former employee of the State Agency for National Security (DANS), murky businessman and alleged crime boss.
The suspects were charged with participating in an organized crime group involved in a number of crimes, including racketeering, extortion, and money laundering.
Petrov, believed to have masterminded the organized crime ring, is the main defendant in the case.
The Octopus case at the Sofia City Court is re-launched due to the removal from office for 6 months of Rumyana Chenalova, the judge to whom the case had initially been assigned.
Disciplinary action has been launched against Chenalova over a scandal over delayed rulings.
The probe against Chenalova was triggered by statements of the French Ambassador to Bulgaria in which he complained about serious violations in insolvency cases against Bulgarian units of a French company.
Atanas Atanasov was designated by the Sofia City Court to act as Rapporteur of the Octopus case.
Apart from Petrov, there are five other defendants in the case, including Marchelo Dzhotolov, Anton Petrov, Yanko Popov, Kiril Topalov, and former prosecutor Tseko Yordanov.
Yordanov has been charged with thwarting criminal proceedings against a Bulgarian-Israeli national in his capacity of head of an investigative unit at the Supreme Prosecutor’s Office of Cassation.
Around 180 witnesses have so far been examined under the case, as well as 31 expert witnesses and 15 injured parties, in some 75 court sittings.
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