Sofia Preps Trial Against Sacked Deputy Minister, Aide

Crime | May 8, 2007, Tuesday // 00:00
Bulgaria: Sofia Preps Trial Against Sacked Deputy Minister, Aide Investigator Tatyana Sharlandzhieva is one of the key figures in Bulgaria's biggest ever corruption scandal, with Economy Minister Rumen Ovcharov implicated. Photo by Nadya Kotseva (Sofia Photo Agency)

Sofia City Prosecution has launched pre-trial procedures against sacked Deputy Economics Minister Korneliya Ninova and investigator Tatyana Sharlandzhieva, Darik News revealed.

The two are accused of helping Krassimir Georgiev head of the Frontier company with information concerning the case of Sofia's bankrupt Toplofikatsia heating utility.

Ninova has been charged with instigating and aiding the crime, while Sharlandzhieva, according to the prosecution, actually committed the crime.

Giving Georgiev information he shouldn't have had access to, the two have helped him earn personal gains, prosecutors believe. The pre-trial procedures were launched around midday on Tuesday, and witnesses and the defence will be subpoenaed on Wednesday. Sofia Chief Prosecutor Nikolay Kokinov announced that they should also start interrogating witnesses on Wednesday.

There is still no information whether Georgiev will be among the people subpoenaed for the trial.

Ninova, a former investigator herself, and two of her former colleagues, Tanya Sharlandzhieva and Zoya Ivanova, faced the prosecutors on Monday.

The scandal around Ninova is an extension of the scandal around Sofia heating utility firm Toplofikatsiya.

Sharlandzhieva, one of the investigators on the case, has been accused by Alexandrov of leaking information about the probe against the former executive of the firm, Valentin Dimitrov, charged with money laundering and embezzlement.

She denied all the charges and hit back at Alexandrov, saying the head of the investigative service tried to tamper with the investigation.

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