Sofia Promises Brussels to Bring to Justice Key Underworld Figures

Politics » BULGARIA IN EU | March 13, 2006, Monday // 00:00

Bulgaria's procuracy will bring indictments against key underworld figures by the beginning of next week at the latest, the country's senior prosecutor vowed in Brussels.

Boris Velchev, who is accompanying Justice Minister Georgi Petkanov during his trip to Brussels, conferred with EU Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn on Monday. The meetings are seen as part of Brussels's mounting pressure on Sofia to knuckle down to the critical areas of concern - reduction of corruption and fight against organized crime.

Velchev has promised structural changes in the procuracy, which is seen by Brussels as one of the most sluggish units in the judicial system.

Over the last five years Bulgaria saw a string of bombings and contract shootings without a single person convicted for the murders. The latest bloody salvo in this turf war was the killing of suspected smuggling baron Ivan Todorov, who was shot dead in downtown Sofia on February 22.

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