Bulgarian Prosecution accuses GDFOC of Unprecedented Pressure on the “Hemus” Investigation
Prosecutors from the Sofia City Prosecutor's Office complained about the unprecedented pressure exerted on them by the General Directorate "Fight against Organized Crime" - Ministry of Interior (GDFOC) in pre-trial proceedings related to the draining of millions from the Hemus highway. This was announced at a briefing on Sunday by the spokesperson of SCP Desislava Petrunova.
According to the Prosecutor's Office, a supervising prosecutor was summoned to the GDFOC building yesterday. It was explained to them that the only accused in the case, Borislav Kolev, had asked for an explanation. However, upon arrival, the man stated that he had come at the insistence of his lawyer. However, the interrogation was conducted, the state prosecution said. The defense demanded a lighter measure, which prosecutors say could lead to acquittal in the future. In addition, it was demanded that Kolev's ban on leaving the country fall in January. After prosecutors refused to do so, a scandal ensued between them and the head of the GDFOC.
Desislava Petrunova told in detail what exactly happened.
"The investigation has been conducted since November 3 by a team of two investigative police officers in the GDFOC under the direction and supervision of a team of three supervising prosecutors at the Sofia City Prosecutor's Office. At the initiative of the investigating authorities, an indictment was filed on December 6 and the accused Borislav Kolev was detained for 72 hours. On December 9, again at the suggestion of the investigating authorities, the Sofia City Court requested a permanent remand in custody. The court ordered house arrest. To date, the protest period has not expired. Immediately after the request was submitted to the prosecutor's office, a meeting was held between two supervising prosecutors, investigative bodies and workers. At it, prosecutors were verbally informed that the accused wanted to give explanations in the case. This must be done in the presence of a prosecutor. The next day, this Friday, the Sofia City Prosecutor's Office received a request for an order to bring the accused to the GDFOC building for questioning," Petrunova said.
However, on Friday evening, the supervising prosecutor received a call from the head of the investigating authorities. According to Petrunova, he has reaffirmed that the accused wants to testify only before a prosecutor. He met with investigators in the case on Saturday. However, the accused himself gave up his intentions and stated that he did not know why he was summoned.
"The supervising prosecutor has received a condition to change the measure of restraint to a lighter one, which would lead to release from criminal liability. The supervising prosecutor replied that the out-of-court agreements were in conflict with the law and she could not participate in them," explained SCP spokeswoman Desislava Petrunova.
Pre-trial proceedings have been instituted for attempting to persuade SCP prosecutors to violate their official duties. Imprisonment from 1 to 6 years is envisaged, the prosecutor's office added. The state prosecution said that the head of the GDFOC Kalin Stoyanov would probably be questioned in the case.
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