Bulgaria's Energy Min Defends Predecessor in Belene Nuclear Case
Bulgarian Energy Minister Temenuzhka Petkova has denied Delyan Dobrev, who served under GERB's first government, committed any wrongdoing in relation to the Belene nuclear power plant (NPP).
Bulgaria's Chief Prosecutor Sotir Tsatsarov demanded that Dobrev's immunity be lifted amid a probe into Belene NPP.
The prosecuting authority said evidence had been collected that allowed to charge Dobrev with premeditated abeyance during his term as Minister of Economy, Energy and tourism. Dobrev agreed to have his immunity revoked.
Allegedly, after Bulgaria's decision to abandon the Belene project in 2012, payment to Parsons E&C Europe Limited (part of Worley Parsons Group), selected to work on construction and funding of the plant, went on as if the project were still being implemented.
But Petkova argued the EUR 4.56 M damages wrought to the National Electricity Company (NEK) were caused under the term of office of Dragomir Stoynev, who served under the socialist-liberal government of 2013-2014 that followed the cabinet of Dobrev.
Documents available at the ministry show payment was made at May 31 and June 24, 2014, under Dobrev's predecessor Dragomir Stoynev, she said at an extraordinary press briefing.
She said Dobrev had worked to defend the interests of both NEK and the state by ordering a renegotiation of conditions agreed with Warley Parsons.
The prosecutor's office earlier indicted Petar Dimitrov, a minister who served in the mid-2000s, on the same charges.
Its spokesperson, Rumyana Arnaudova, warned more people may soon face charges in the case.
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