Ex BulgarianTop Cop: I Am Accused of Obeying Law
Bulgaria's Prosecution Office is accusing me of adhering to the law, says former Interior Minister, Tsvetan Tsvetanov.
In an official statement sent to the media Saturday, the former minister stresses he did not want to believe that the prosecution was biased against him.
The statement came on the heels of news that Bulgaria's Chief Prosecutor Sotir Tsatsarov has asked Parliament to lift Tsvetanov's lawmaker immunity over charges of large-scale embezzlement.
If the request is approved, Tsvetanov, who is an MP from the opposition center-right Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria party, GERB, will face a third trial.
According to a media statement of the prosecuting authority, Tsvetanov embezzled BGN 50 000 from the budget of the Interior Ministry to the benefit of Orlin Todorov, former head of the Interior's Chief Directorate "Combating Organized Crime" (GDBOP) in Veliko Tarnovo.
During his term in office as Interior Minister, Tsvetanov ordered that Todorov be paid salary for a period when he had been removed from office and was kept in custody in the prison in Lovech. Pursuant to Tsvetanov's order, Todorov was paid salary and compensation for untaken holidays for the period he spent in prison, as well as 20 salaries upon his retirement from the Interior.
According to the prosecuting authority, Tsvetanov faces charges of large-scale embezzlement and an offence concerning professional conduct.
"I believe in the Bulgarian justice and the impartiality of the court," said Tsvetanov in the aftermath.
"As far as I remember, during pretrial proceedings against Orlin Todorov the prosecution found no evidence of the charges. In connection with the case, the disciplinary authority has proposed to me to sanction him with reprimand, which I imposed," adds the former Minister.
He further explained that at the same time Todorov has been denied access to classified information, which is not grounds for dismissal, but for reassignment to a position that does not require such access. Dismissal is required when an employee refuses to take the offered position or a suitable vacant one, but he or she still receives the full amount of the compensation due to them under the Ministry of Interior Act, Tsvetanov said.
Meanwhile Todorov has applied to leave police work on grounds of mutual accord with the Ministry. Under the Ministry of Interior Act, a 30-day notice is required for this. The restrictions to release from duty on such grounds include ongoing disciplinary proceedings, which in this case were over. Another reason is effective conviction, which is not available to date, two years later, added the former Interior Minister.
"If I did not do what I have done, Todorov could sue the Interior Ministry for wrongful dismissal and would have been entitled to a large compensation," Tsvetanov concludes.
Tsvetanov is also standing trial on another count - blocking six court-approved permits to use special surveillance devices against Todorov.
In addition, he is being tried on charges of failing to exercise proper oversight over Interior Ministry officials in charge of implementing special surveillance equipment, as result of which unauthorized wiretapping took place.
Tsvetanov gave up his MP immunity on the two cases.
A decision to lift lawmakers' immunity from prosecution is required for each separate case
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He is definitely guilty of "failing to exercise proper oversight" over wiretapping: that so many tapes with conversations damaging to GERB were published proves that he was not in control of the secret service, and the fact that no tape of the conversation between Stanishev, Mestan and Oresharski on the appointment of Peevski has been published, shows who IS in control (and has been all the time)...