Ex-Chair of Bulgaria's Conflict of Interest Watchdog to Face Trial
Sofia prosecutors have submitted in court an indictment against Filip Zlatanov, former Chair of the Commission on Prevention and Ascertainment of Conflict of Interest (CPACI).
Zlatanov is charged with abuse of office. He faces up to 10 years behind bars and a ban to hold public positions.
According to the prosecutors, he committed the crime between September 2012 and July 2013 by failing to fulfill and / or by violating his duties in order to favor or harm certain individuals. With this he has also inflicted harm to CPACI such as tarnishing its image and diminishing public trust in the watchdog.
Thirty two witnesses have been questioned and 6 expert reports in the case have been prepared.
In October 2013, Zlatanov was released from the post.
In mid-July 2013, Bulgaria's prosecuting authority pressed charges of malfeasance in office against the Chair of CPACI, with Deputy Chief Prosecutor Borislav Sarafov citing excerpts from a "very interesting notebook" seized from Zlatanov's desk, indicating that he had received instructions about the progress of certain cases.
"Zlatanov complied with the instructions – to strike, to postpone, to delay, and even to conceal cases," Sarafov stated then, adding that the people mentioned in the notebook included Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev, as well as E.D., MP of GERB, I.F., B.B., and Ts. Ts.
The people behind the initials are believed to be Iskra Fidosova, a leading figure in center-right party Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria (GERB) and former Chair of the Parliamentary Legal Committee, Boyko Borisov, GERB leader and former Prime Minister, GERB Deputy Chairman and former Interior Minister, Tsvetan Tsvetanov, and GERB MP Emil Dimitrov.
Borisov and Tsvetanov firmly denied involvement.
The scandal led to Fidosova's resignation as lawmaker.
Zlatanov adamantly rejected reports that the notes in his infamous personal notebook were instructions for his work, adding that they had been his own ideas and remarks.
Asked to shed light on the scheme involving I.F., B.B., and Ts. Ts. contained in his notebook, he said that he could not remember whom he had had in mind, adding that he had simply "jotted something down at a certain moment."