Ex Secret Agent Sues Scandalous Bulgarian TV Journalist for Libel

Politics » DOMESTIC | December 30, 2011, Friday // 18:24
Bulgaria: Ex Secret Agent Sues Scandalous Bulgarian TV Journalist for Libel TV journalist Nikolay Barekov faces a BGN 250 000 defamation lawsuit over on-air comments. Photo by BGNES

Controversial former secret agent Alexey Petrov is suing TV journalist Nikolay Barekov for libel and seeks BGN 250 000 in compensation for non-monetary damages.

The lawsuit was filed at the Sofia City Court over Barekov's remarks over the July 19 explosions in front of the offices of the marginal conservative Law, Order and Justice (RZS) party and the right-wing Democrats for Strong Bulgaria (DSB) party, news portal mediapool reported on Friday.

The former secret agent and alleged organized crime boss complains about Barekov's on-air comments that participants in online forums had no doubt and were 99% certain that Petrov had planted the bombs.

The claim cites Barekov as saying that it was precisely Alexey Petrov who had the resources to do such a thing and that the explosions were to his benefit.

The document goes on to quote the TV journalist as saying that there was "nothing to stop Petrov from detonating the headquarters of the party" and if he wanted to eliminate RZS he could "as well shoot a respected politician like Yane Yanev", the head of the political formation.

Barekov also allegedly stated that "unless he gets stopped, the Tractor (Petrov's nickname) could go to great extremes".

Alexei Petrov seeks BGN 250 000 in compensation for non-monetary damages, together with the accrued interest from July 20, when the journalist voiced the comments in his program on private TV channel TV7.

In November, Barekov made headlines as he condemned the protests of grain producers, threatening to slash the tyres of their tractors because they were getting in his way and were preventing him from earning a living.

Barekov further suggested that "the Tractor" might be involved in the rallies.

In early December, Bulgarian grain producers blocked Sofia with close to 170 tractors and other agricultural machinery to protest against subsidy cuts.

Petrov complained to the Council for Electronic Media (CEM) about the comments.

CEM decided to fine TV7 over Barekov's remarks on the protests of grain producers.

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Tags: Nikolay Barekov, journalist, libel, Alexey Petrov, The Tractor, grain producers, TV7, Sofia City Court, RZS, DSB, explosion, bomb, Yane Yanev
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