Bulgaria Court Clears Refugee Agency Director, Govt Defeated

January 23, 2013, Wednesday // 05:43
Bulgaria: Bulgaria Court Clears Refugee Agency Director, Govt Defeated
Svetoslav Michev is pictured talking to reporters February 2010 after leaving the Prosecutor's Office unit dealing with EU funds fraud. Photo by BGNES

A Bulgarian court has cleared yet another high level official of abuse of office charges following a much trumpeted by the government trial.

The Director of the of the State Agency for Refugees, Svetoslav Michev, was charged with dereliction in February 2010.

Michev was then fired for violations after he was exposed by a media investigation done by a BNT reporter.

The footage showed a rusty 2,3-meter long pipe for which BGN 10 000 have been paid by the Agency. The pipe burst and is leaking gasoline in the refugee center in the town of Nova Zagora.

Michev had paid the huge amount without hesitating and signed an invoice for a BGN 10 an hour wage for painting while the painter's wages in Bulgaria average BGN 3 to 4 an hour for the most experienced painters.

Then it emerged that some BGN 440 000 were splurged on repair works of the refugee center in the village of Banya from August to December 2008.

Three years later Sofia City Court fully acquitted the defendant because prosecutors allowed "grave weaknesses in certain logical and legal aspects of the trial", the judges said.

Svetoslav Michev served as a Member of the Parliament for 3 terms on the ticket of the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP), which is now in opposition. He was appointed the Agency Director by the BSP leader and former PM, Sergey Stanishev.

He has been for many years the Chair of the Regional BSP branch in the Danube city of Ruse.

Before the fall of the Communism, Michev was well known as a writer and screenwriter and has written the script for 2 movies that were hits in the 80s. He is also said to have been close to the murdered PM, Andrey Lukanov.

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