Stroke Delays Trial against Bulgaria Former Social Minister
Sofia City Court postponed the trial against former Minister of Social Policy and Labor, Emiliya Maslarova, and five other defendants after one of them was reported sick.
Ivan Penev has suffered a stroke, the judges were told on Monday morning.
The new court session was scheduled for October 14.
The trial against Maslarova, who is now Member of the Parliament on the ticket of the opposition Bulgarian Socialist Party, BSP, at the Sofia City Court began on April 21, 2011.
The former Minister is charged with large-scale embezzlement of over BGN 11 M from repairs in a social home in the city of Stara Zagora.
According to the prosecution, a probe had shown that the Ministry of Social Policy and Labor, under the leadership of Maslarova, had slated BGN 19 M for renovations at the home. Only BGN 8 M have been used for construction and repairs, while the remaining BNG 11 M were embezzled through fake invoices.
Other defendants in the case are Maslarova's Deputy, Dimitar Dimitrov, her Chief Secretary, Ivan Penev, and Ventsislav Draganov, a family friend along with Mihail Metodiev and Rosen Stefanov, who allegedly misled employees of the Social Ministry.
At the beginning of May, Todor Pavlov, the main witness in the trial against Maslarova, withdrew his testimony.
Before the magistrates from the Sofia City Court, Pavlov, who was placed under the protection of the Prosecutor's Office for three months, denied almost everything he previously told a judge. He stated he never said he had been bringing Maslarova envelopes stashed with money, sent to her by Dragaranov.
The witness further said he never signed the protocol from his interrogation, and was never even given the said protocol to read it. Pavlov admitted he had been beaten by two unknown individuals and had some fears related to Draganov over money disagreements, but denied receiving any direct threats from the latter.
Maslarova, herself, stated then she had in her possession the final rule of the Supreme Administrative Court that the Public Procurement Act had not been violated regarding renovations at the social home in Stara Zagora.
Defendants and their defense council say the trial is just another political farce entering the court system.
If found guilty, Maslarava can be sentenced to up to 10 years of jail time and banned from holding State or public office.
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"the Ministry of Social Policy and Labor, under the leadership of Maslarova, had slated BGN 19 M for renovations at the home. Only BGN 8 M have been used for construction and repairs, while the remaining BNG 11 M were embezzled through fake invoices"..................................
What was this Red Trash B***h building? The Bulgarian Taj Mahal??? 19 Million BGN for "construction and repairs", on a private property??? Something stinks real bad, but of course she insists that she is totally innocent. I'm sure that they are all totally innocent regarding this 19 Million BGN that is "missing".