Bulgarians Rally against Illegal Police Snooping

Society | April 21, 2013, Sunday // 10:56
Bulgarians Rally against Illegal Police Snooping: Bulgarians Rally against Illegal Police Snooping A caricature, published by BGNES, of former Interior Minister in the GERB cabinet, Tsvetan Tsvetanov.

Bulgarians are planning a large –scale protest rally against breaches in the use of special surveillance devices and mass illegal police wiretapping.

The news agency BGNES reports the rally is to start at noon Sunday in the vicinity of the building of the Interior Ministry in downtown Sofia.

The demonstrators are gathering at 11 am in the nearby park adjacent to the Sveti Sedmochislenitsi church.

They demand the resignation of former Interior Minister in the Cabinet of the Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria party, GERB, who declared earlier he would resign if evidence would turn out that he was involved in the mass eavesdropping of politicians, business people, and journalists.

They say the scandal has shown how the police see Bulgarian citizens as their main enemy.

Bulgarian political experts and leading journalists will be among the speakers.

On March 28, Sergey Stanishev, leader of the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP), submitted a tipoff to Chief Prosecutor, Sotir Tsatsarov, about illegal wiretapping of politicians, businessmen and magistrates which had taken place during Tsvetanov's term in office.

Last Monday, in reporting the results from the probe, Tsatsarov stated that two thirds of Stanishev's information has been confirmed.

He said pre-trial proceedings had been opened against three directors at the Specialized Directorate Technical Operations of the Interior Ministry and one employee of the unit.

Tsatsarov also explained that important information related to the case had been deleted in a bid to sabotage the probe, adding the prosecutors would try to recover the lost data.

The head of the special surveillance unit of Bulgaria's police, together with a director from the unit, were temporarily released from duty until the end of investigations against them. 

The Chief Prosecutor assured the probe was continuing and Tsvetanov's work and involvement will also be probed.

The Interior Ministry's Chief Secretary, Kalin Georgiev, in two interviews, rejected claims the technology allowed voice recording. He was summoned for interrogation by the Prosecutor's Office over discrepancies between his account before the investigators and his statements for the media.

Illegal police spying has been listed as one of the serious problems in Bulgaria in the US Department of State's latest report on the country's human rights practices.

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Tags: Department of State, human rights, Bulgaria, GERB, Tsvetan Tsvetanov, Roman Vassilev, Nikolay Kokinov, Bulgarian Socialist Party, Sergey Stanishev, wiretapping, interior ministry, Chief Prosecutor, Sotir Tsatsarov, interior ministry, Chief Secretary, Kalin Georgiev, special surveillance devices, SRS
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