Bulgaria Ex-Energy Min 'Indicted over Abeyance'

Business » ENERGY | January 2, 2017, Monday // 11:30| Views: | Comments: 0
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Bulgaria: Bulgaria Ex-Energy Min 'Indicted over Abeyance' Bulgaria's former Energy Minister Traycho Traykov. File photo, BGNES

Former Bulgarian Economy and Energy Minister Traycho Traykov says he was indicted on charges of willful abeyance late last year.

In a Facebook post, Traykov argues he was handed the indictment on December 28, while the summons itself was handed to him several days earlier, on Christmas Eve.

It comes "as I was promised [to be indicted] before and during the presidential elections," his post reads. Traykov ran in November's presidential election.

He is accused of having allowed the sale of a state-owned minority stake (33%) of EVN Bulgaria Elektrorazpredelenie AD (a company managing the electricity distribution grid) at a considerably lower price than than normal, in 2011, at a time he was minister of Economy, Energy and Tourism.

Back in 2011, the government authorized the sale of its shares at EVN's Bulgarian units (which included a stake at one more daughter company) for BGN 93 M. The deal was then presented by officials as a big success.

The deal was concluded on the Bulgarian Stock Exchange overseen and subsequently approved by a number of watchdogs, including the Privatization and Post-Privatization Control Agency (PPCA) and the Financial Supervision Commission, the ex-minister maintains. "The head of the PPCA is appointed by the [government] and is the same as in 2011, while the [official who was] then chair of the PPCA's oversight board was recently promoted by [Parliament] to head of the Competition Protection Commission. Perhaps no-one cinsiders that the people who directly did and approved the conditions of the deal achieved a bad result."

Traykov has dismissed the charge, arguing he is being attacked because of his rhetoric on the "need for radical change in the judicial system and especially in the prosecuting authority."

"Because I went on explaining we are poorer than other Europeans due to the billions stolen every year by a criminal clique of politicians, oligarchs and magistrates."

"Maybe [the charges have come] even because the hundred million from the deal in question in 2011 weren't directly deposited at Corporate Commercial Bank, but a contest was launched and it was won by another bank," he alleged.

It is "the politically inconvenient people" who get indicted around holidays, according to Traykov.

He is now one of a serie of Energy Ministers indicted over the past few weeks, even though the others - Delyan Dobrev, Dragomir Stoynev, Rumen Ovcharov and Petar Dimitrov - has been slapped with charges in relation to the Belene nuclear power plant (NPP) project.

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Tags: Traycho Traykov, EVN Bulgaria, EVN, abeyance
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