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Bulgarian Chief Prosecutor: We Are Not National Traitors

Crime | May 14, 2013, Tuesday // 17:45
Bulgarian Chief Prosecutor: We Are Not National Traitors: Bulgarian Chief Prosecutor: We Are Not National Traitors The notorious Multiprint printing house in the western town of Kostinbrod, near the Bulgarian capital Sofia, photo by Sofia Photo Agency

The Bulgarian prosecution is not participating in scenarios for destabilizing the country - to the contrary – it is carrying out its duties as postulated by the law, according to Chief Prosecutor, Sotir Tsatsarov.

"If someone wants to see the prosecution as a passive side, a simple observer of breaches and crimes – they are confusing the times, the person, and everything else. We will not wait to fin out who will form the next government and then take sides. We have been accused of being close to national treason over a certain probe. We are not national traitors, we are THE prosecution," the Chief Prosecutor stressed.

He explained that the news about the operation of his office, conducted jointly with the State Agency for National Security, DANS, in the now-notorious ballot printing facility near the capital Sofia, has not been released by them on the day of reflection (the day before the general elections on May 12 – editor's note), but by someone else.

"The Prosecutor's Office issued a press release about the operation because it was reported in media, made headline news, and we were pressured to offer information. We tried for it to be maximum objective with not much detail. Nowhere in this information until now, or in our probe, we connected the operation with a particular political party. Why are some accusing us of participating in a scenario? If the media had not broken the story, you would have learned it after the vote," he explained.

Tsatsarov called on everyone to ask themselves if the media coverage of the news in this manner was not aimed at hurdling the investigation.

The Chief Prosecutor spoke in the aftermath of breaking news reported Saturday by TV7 that the Bulgarian Prosecutor's Office is probing the case of some 350 000 suspected to be illegal ballots seized from the Multiprint printing house in the western town of Kostinbrod.

The ballots, allegedly, were to be used to manipulate the vote in the early general elections on Sunday, May 12, to turn the results in favor of the centrist Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria party, GERB.

The printing house is owned by Yordan Bonchev, municipal councilor in Kostinbrod from GERB, who is said to be close to GERB's Deputy Chair and former Interior Minister, Tsvetan Tsvetanov.

GERB's leadership stated later the prosecution's actions were destabilizing the country. Speaking on another occasion, Tsvetanov went even further and accused them of national treason.

The prosecution has so far confirmed that they have indeed found 350 000 ballots produced after May 8, when all regular ballots, ordered under the public tender, were printed and delivered, to be used for the elections. The seized ballots were packed and ready to be transported.

Prosecutors also said the questionable ballots were not "printing spoilage", as the printing house's owner had claimed, adding they had discovered the actual printing spoilage discarded inside the printing house.

Under the law, each ballot must include the name and the number of the voting region and the names of the first 3 candidates on the ticket of each party.

According to Nova TV, the 350 000 ballots were destined for 10 voting regions.

The prosecution is expected to reveal if the ballots have been blank or if they have been filled in advance for a certain political party.

If the second is proven, the Constitutional Court could ask for a probe in the validity of the elections and they might end up being invalidated.

Bulgarian prosecutors are expected to hold a briefing at 11 am Wednesday to reveal what exactly has been found in the now-notorious ballot printing facility near the capital Sofia.

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Tags: Tsvetan Tsvetanov, interior ministry, Kostinbrod, Yordan Bonchev, fraud, printing, ballots, GERB, Kostinbrod, printing house, election fraud, parliamentary election, Elections 2013, spoilage, printing house, ballots, Sofia City Prosecutor's Office, State Agency for National Security, GERB, Kostinbrod, Elections 2013, public tender, DANS, Elections 2013, parliamentary election, election fraud, printing house, Kostinbrod, GERB, ballots, printing, fraud, prosecution, Tsvetan Tsvetanov, GERB, Chief Prosecutor, Sotir Tsatsarov
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