Former Bulgarian Vice-PM Denies Hushing Money Laundering Scandal

Politics » DOMESTIC | November 14, 2013, Thursday // 15:11
Bulgaria: Former Bulgarian Vice-PM Denies Hushing Money Laundering Scandal Tsvetan Tsvetanov. Photo by BGNES

Ex Bulgarian Vice-PM and Interior Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov has denied allegations that the former GERB cabinet he was a part of covered up information it had of murky financial transactions by Hristo Biserov, a former vice-chair of a rival party.

Last week Biserov, a member of the liberal Movement for Rights and Freedoms, resigned from his position in the party leadership and from his post as Deputy Speaker of the Bulgarian Parliament.

He also asked to be released from his MP duties, days before the prosecution announced that it has launched a probe against him.

Thursday the prosecution stated that on Firday Biserov will most probably be charged with money laundering and failure to properly declare his income.

According to a publication by Bulgarian tabloid Galeria Thursday, Tsvetanov received internal police information about Biserov's alleged financial crimes in 2012, while he was still Interior Minister

According to the newspaper's source, Tsvetanov chose to hush the information, which he blackmailed his political rival.

The piece further claims that during that period, Tsvetanov's GERB and Biserov's Movement for Rights and Freedoms were exceptionally close, even if this was not manifestly visible.

"During my time as minister, there was no protective umbrella over anyone. There has been no police information about a possible crime that was hushed down," commented the former Vice-PM in Parliament Thursday.

Tsvetanov further denied Chief Prosecutor Sotir Tsatsarov's suggestion that during his time as minister, the anti-organized crime unit of the Bulgarian police worked selectively on high profile cases.

Last week, the announcement of the probe against Biserov provoked a spate of mutual accusations between GERB and MRF.

GERB's leader Boyko Borisov and vice-chair Tsvetanov alleged that the MRF leadership had been informed of the probe in advance by the police, and then forced Biserov to resign.

On his part MRF leader Lyutvi Mestan suggested that GERB politicians might have known about the probe earlier.

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Tags: Tsvetan Tsvetanov, Hristo Biserov, Lyutvi Mestan, Boyko Borisov, MRF, GERB, Movement for Rights and Freedoms, Sotir Tsatsarov, financial crimes, money laundering
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