Bulgarian Ex GERB MP Released on Bail
The Sofia City Court has released from custody Dimitar Avramov, a former MP of Bulgaria's ruling center-right GERB.
The bail has been set at BGN 15 000 and Avramov is already at large since the Prosecutor has decided to not appeal the rule of the judge, according to the Bulgarian Capital daily.
The release comes on the request of the former MP and his defense counsel after the Sofia Court of Appeals rule at the end of July to keep him behind bars on grounds the arrest did not violate the law.
Avramov, 35, was detained on July 17 during a special operation of the Main Directorate for Combatting Organized Crime, GDBOP, the State Agency for National Security, DANS, and the Sofia City Prosecutor's Office.
He is charged with trading influence in asking and receiving BGN 50 000 to exert pressure on an employee from the Regional Directorate "Agriculture" to grant subsidies for farming lands. The owner of the lands is the person who alerted the authorities that he has been forced to pay the amount or transfer part of his business to the MP.
Avramov gave up his MP immunity voluntarily. However, judges believe he was forced to do so by the ruling GERB. He was also expelled from party ranks.
The lawmaker was arrested just one day prior to the highly critical European Commission report under the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism on the country's progress in justice and home affairs.
Avramov was sentenced in 2011 to pay a fine of BGN 5 000 for lobbyism in passing legislation. According to the Supreme Administrative Court, VAS, he committed conflict of interest in proposing amendments to the Farming Lands Act.
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