Bulgaria's Corpbank Owner to Appear Before Belgrade Court

Crime | March 16, 2016, Wednesday // 10:26
Bulgaria: Bulgaria's Corpbank Owner to Appear Before Belgrade Court File photo, BGNES

The Supreme Court of Serbia is to interrogate Tsvetan Vasilev, the majority shareholder at insolvent Corporate Commercial Bank (Corpbank or KTB), in relation to an extradition request from Bulgaria.

Vasilev left Bulgaria in the summer of 2014, in the days around the collapse of KTB which was placed under special supervision by central bank BNB following a bank run on June 20, 2014.

Authorities in Sofia have demanded that he be extradited to be tried for allegedly running KTB as a pyramid scheme and embezzling BGN 206 M in assets from the bank.

A hearing was initially set for end-February, but was postponed after Vasilev failed to appear in court, with his lawyer delivering a sick note.

It is the Serbian Justice Minister who has the final say on extradition requests, regardless of the court's decision.

Vasilev himself argues he will be facing political persecution if he is extradited. However, he has repeatedly said he is ready to return if a fair trial and his safety can be guaranteed.

In March of last year, the Belgrade Court of Appeal turned down the extradition request.

As of March 16 this year, no indictment has been submitted to court by Bulgarian authorities who are waiting for Vasilev's return to do so. A two-year deadline for the indictment to be filed expires in July.

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Tags: Tsvetan Vasilev, Corporate Commercial Bank, Corpbank, KTB, BNB
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