FBI Scandal - Bulgaria's Ethnic Turks Long-Time Leader 'Revenge'

Politics » DOMESTIC | June 23, 2013, Sunday // 13:13
Bulgaria: FBI Scandal - Bulgaria's Ethnic Turks Long-Time Leader 'Revenge' Ahmed Dogan, who was member of the previous parliament, is pictured here during his sole appearance in the National Assembly last year, which made headlines as a rare event. Photo by Sofia Photo Agency

Bulgaria’s ethnic Turks’ long-time leader Ahmed Dogan stands behind the outrageous decision to appoint а shady media mogul the country's security chief, a dissenter form the party has alleged.

Ahmed Dogan appointed Delyan Peevski to revenge for the humiliation he suffered when he became the target of an attack right on the floor of a party conference in January,” Osman Oktay told the private bTV channel on Sunday.

Oktay, who was expelled from the party in 2001, refused to say what the aim of Peevski’s appointment was.

Bulgaria’s capital Sofia has seen over the last week unrelenting public outrage at the appointment of a media magnate to a top security post, which boiled over into protests against the new government.

On Wednesday Bulgaria’s Parliament retracted the appointment of Peevski as head of DANS. The move however is unlikely to appease protesters, who have called for the government’s resignation.

The rallies take place peacefully, despite attempts made by marginal nationalist groups to provoke protesters.

Dogan, considered for the last decade the back-seat ruler of Bulgaria, is patiently biding his time on the bench only to enter the political game and settle scores when the right moment comes, political analysts commented a year ago.

The statements were prompted by his refusal to return a scandalous bonus for consulting hydro energy projects while his party was in power.

The then prime minister Boyko Borisov had called on officials in previous governments to return all bonuses to help make up for the economic crisis. Ahmed Dogan refused to do so, even though his huge and controversial fee turned him into a defendant in a graft case.

In response to an earlier call by Prime Minister Boyko Borisov, current officials have returned bonuses worth more than EUR 300,000.

"Borisov is winning the PR game, but Dogan does not seem to care," Tihomir Bezlov commented.

"Dogan is patiently biding his time on the bench only to enter the political game and settle scores when the right moment comes," he commented.

Two years ago Dogan was cleared of pocketing nearly one million euros from the state budget while in power, a high profile corruption trial that proved him to be untouchable.

Bulgaria's Supreme Administrative Court acquitted Ahmed Dogan for receiving huge consulting fees on hydro energy projects while his party was in power.

The court said there was no evidence that Ahmed Dogan had breached the public interest by receiving the fees.

The case was opened after the parliamentary commission on corruption notified it of a possible conflict of interest. Ahmed Dogan has been involved in large-scale political corruption schemes, has breached the conflict of interest provisions and has served private interests, according to the allegations.

The leader of the ethnic Turkish party Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS), which was a member of the former three-way coalition cabinet, 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 2010 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," was paid by the state-owned National Electricity Distribution Company (NEK), left in tatters after the ruling of the previous cabinet.

Dogan holds a philosophy degree and has no qualifications in civil engineering.

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Tags: protests, Delyan Peevski, Plamen Oresharski, State Agency for National Security, DANS, parliament, conflict of interest, hydro-power plant, Tsankov Kamak, Supreme Administrative Court, embezzlement, Ahmed Dogan, bonuses

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