Bulgarian Security Service Chief: We do not Coordinate with Partner Countries
"Heads of services do not coordinate with partner countries - there is no such legal requirement, nor such a practice". This was stated before the MPs by the chairman of the State Agency for National Security (SANS) Plamen Tonchev.
In the National Assembly, the directors of the special services are being heard after the leaked recording from the National Council of "We Continue the Change". At the proposal of "Vazrazhdane", the deputies voted to broadcast the meeting live on the National Television.
During his hearing, Plamen Tonchev stated that the allegations that the appointment of heads of services is coordinated with partner countries because of the need to access classified EU and NATO information are untrue.
"The appointment of the chairman of SANS is carried out according to a strictly legal procedure, which is only within the framework of the Republic of Bulgaria. On the proposal of the Council of Ministers, they are appointed by decree of the president. None of the requirements of the law provide for candidacies for the chairman of SANS to coordinate with anyone, including foreign embassies. There is a legal order for access to national classified information and to that of NATO and the EU. We, as members of the EU and NATO, also do not coordinate candidates for heads of partner services", said Plamen Tonchev.
He also denied hints of Russian influence in the services, pointing out the ability of SANS to detect such cells in its structures. Tonchev recalled the case in which two employees of SANS were caught in such behavior, as a result of which they are currently accused, and Russian diplomats have been declared persona non grata in our country.
"Unproven allegations create reputational damage not only to the services, but also to the state. Attempts to discredit institutions, instilling uncertainty and division among society, is an element of the hybrid reactions, including that of Moscow," said Plamen Tonchev.
In response, Daniel Laurer cited legal texts governing the cooperation of SANS with partner services and asked:
"Is it normal practice to ask partner services for information? Is it normal practice for this exchange to happen in mutual trust between partner services? Can they fulfill their legal obligations if they do not enjoy the partner services' full trust and access to classified information from NATO and the EU?"
The parliamentary group of "Vazrazhdane" once again repeated their position that the coordination of the heads of the services with foreign embassies is treason.
The directors of SANS, the State Intelligence Agency and the military intelligence were answering questions in parliament after the leaked recordings from the National Council of "We Continue the Change", which said that the appointed heads of the Bulgarian security services were coordinated with embassies of foreign countries
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