Leaked Recording Brings Up Claims of Bulgaria PM's Relations with Controversial MP

Politics | October 23, 2016, Sunday // 16:58
Bulgaria: Leaked Recording Brings Up Claims of Bulgaria PM's Relations with Controversial MP File photo, BGNES

The Bulgarian government is not commenting on claims heard in a wiretapped conversation of a former judiciary official with a dismissed judge as the latest leaks of so-called Yanevagate were released this week.

The conversation involves former Sofia City Court head Vladimira Yaneva, dismissed judge Rumyana Chenalova, and lawyer Momchil Mondeshki who is allegedly close to Yaneva.

Yaneva is heard telling Mondeshki, a lawyer who has been tried and sentenced for document fraud, that Prime Minister Boyko Borisov and Delyan Peevski, a controversial lawmaker and alleged media mogul, "have always acted together", in the sense their interests have always converged.

Their conversation also allegedly exposes delicate relations in the KTB case, linked to the collapse of Bulgaria's fourth-largest lender, which subsequently was among the factors that forced Yaneva out of the office, amidst a probe into her actions ordered by the Supreme Judicial Council.

In a reference to Bulgaria's security apparatus, one of them is heard saying: "The services are not Boyko [Borisov]'s, but Delyan [Peevski]'s." It was Peevski's appointment (later reversed) as head of DANS, the counter-intelligence agency, that sparked nationwide protests against the previous elected government in 2013, paving the way for Borisov's GERB party to sweep back to power next year.

Other recordings have so far claimed to unveil complicated relations between the executive and the judiciary.

These have also sparked a row between Chief Prosecutor Sotir Tsatsarov and Supreme Court of Cassation (VKS) head Lozan Panov, both seen as belonging to different sides in a battle over how the judicial reform in Bulgaria should be carried out.

Tsatsarov, who occupies one of the most powerful offices under Bulgarian law, often clashes with Panov, former Justice Minister Hristo Ivanov and other officials, claiming attacks and criticism on him are politically motivated.

The conflict is often transposed to the Supreme Judicial Council, a decisionmaking body often referred to as "the government of the judiciary". 

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Tags: Yanevagate, Rumyana Chenalova, Vladimira Yaneva, Boyko Borisov, Delyan Peevski, Sotir Tsatsarov, Lozan Panov, KTB, judicial reform, Hristo Ivanov
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