Bulgaria Ethnic Turks Leader Faces Court over Embezzlement Allegations
Bulgaria's Supreme Administrative Court will be approached over conflict of interests allegations against ethnic Turkish leader Ahmed Dogan, a parliamentary body decided on Friday.
Ahmed Dogan has been involved in large-scale political corruption schemes, has breached the conflict of interests provisions and has served private interests, says the report that the parliamentary commission for corruption fight and conflict of interests approved and will send to the supreme court.
“I am ready to be held responsible if my actions help to bring to justice those who have committed atrocities. The truth is that Ahmed Dogan has been bossing the show for twenty years already,” the chairman of the commission Dimo Gyaurov from the right-wing Blue Coalition, commented.
Dogan, leader of the ethnic Turkish party Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS), which was a member of the former three-way government, allegedly pocketed BGN 1,5 M as a consultant of four large-scale hydroelectricity projects, funded by the state - ‘Tsankov Kamak’, ‘Dospat’, ‘Gorna Arda’ and ‘Tundzha’ Dam.
The scandal erupted in May after a visit of Prime Minister Boyko Borisov to the site of the hydroelectric power plant ‘Tsankov Kamak’, where he revealed that a huge hike in the initial price has been discovered.
The money for the hydro power plant "Tsankov Kamak", from where Dogan took the sky-high payment as an “expert”, were paid by the state-owned National Electricity Distribution Company, left in tatters after the ruling of the previous cabinet.
The parliamentary commission for corruption fight and conflict of interests convened on Friday a day after its meeting failed as two of its members surprisingly did not show up, triggering rumours of behind-the-scene moves aimed to rescue Ahmed Dogan.
In a bid to disperse the suspicions Prime Minister Boyko Borisov demanded that the commission convenes urgently and deliver its ruling on Friday.
The new center-right government of Bulgaria was elected on an anti-corruption mandate last July and on the promise to bring to justice those involved in huge-scale corruption schemes.
The latest embezzlement allegations against Ahmed Dogan have been widely considered to be a litmus test for the government's willingness to do so in practice.
If found guilty, Dogan faces a fine from BGN 1000 to BGN 3000. The supreme court may also deprive him of the payment that he received as an expert.
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