Bulgaria: The Prosecutor's Office requested the Immunity of Boyko Borissov for Money Laundering

Politics | May 30, 2023, Tuesday // 20:21
Bulgaria: Bulgaria: The Prosecutor's Office requested the Immunity of Boyko Borissov for Money Laundering @Wikimedia Commons

The Sofia City Prosecutor's Office proposed to the Chief Prosecutor of the Republic of Bulgaria - Ivan Geshev - to submit a reasoned request to the National Assembly for permission to initiate criminal prosecution against Boyko Borissov - former Prime Minister and deputy in the 49th National Assembly.

The proposal was prepared in connection with a pre-trial proceeding, known in the media as "Barcelonagate", in which evidence was collected within the meaning of Art. 219 of the Criminal Code for a committed crime under Art. 253 of the Criminal Code of the People's Representative /money laundering/.

From the evidence collected in the course of the pre-trial proceedings, it can be concluded that the former prime minister provided third parties with funds acquired as a result of a committed crime for the purchase and rental of real estate abroad, says the announcement of the prosecutor's office.

A week ago, on the sidelines of the National Assembly, it was unofficially rumored that the prosecutor's office is expected to request the immunity of GERB leader and current MP Boyko Borissov. But not only that: the name of the co-chairman of "We Continue the Change" Kiril Petkov was also unofficially mentioned, and various rumors suggested that the immunities requested by the prosecutor's office could be as many as a dozen, but this did not happen.

Instead, the city prosecutor's office proposed to remove the immunity of GERB deputy Delyan Dobrev in a case from 2016. So far, the prosecutor general has not officially filed a request for Dobrev's immunity. He himself and GERB took a position that they will not support the removal of any parliamentary immunity at a time when a severe judicial reform is being carried out.

Geshev is about to submit an official request to remove Boyko Borissov's immunity. He can give it up himself. If he does not, the parliament will have to form a committee on the matter. Chief Prosecutor Ivan Geshev has already indirectly accused Borissov of trying to get him to resign himself. In a series of statements, the prosecutor general said he had received invitations to become ambassador to Israel or Turkey, as well as to have a political career, "probably in GERB."

"Barcelonagate" is an investigation into a house in Barcelona examining a money laundering scheme linked to former Prime Minister Boyko Borissov. The name of the former Bulgarian model Borislava Yovcheva, who is suspected of having benefited from the scheme, and with whom Borissov is said to have a child, is also involved in the case. In 2018, the Catalan publication "Periodico" reported that the local authorities were checking whether she was connected to Borissov.

Barcelonagate was mentioned by Prosecutor General Ivan Geshev when he tendered his resignation two weeks ago. Then he stated that the supervising prosecutor on the case had received a message through several people from the head of the national investigation, Borislav Sarafov, to close the case, and in fact "the development of the case would have ended by the end of this year".

Later, Sarafov gave an example with "Barcelonagate" that this is how key cases are decided in the prosecutor's office. "He himself admitted today that he keeps the 'Barcelonagate' case in pieces, as you put it, so that he can twist the hands of politicians," Sarafov said on May 15. Shortly after, the prosecutor's office announced that the case was not "completed" and that a "huge number of documents" were still being translated from Spanish and other languages.

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