Bulgarian Authorities, Europol Chief Discuss Burgas Bus Bombing Probe
The Director of Europol, Rob Wainwright, has praised the work of the Bulgarian authorities on the investigation of the 2012 Burgas bus bombing.
The terror attack at the Sarafovo airport and the cooperation between Bulgaria and Europol were the main topics of the talks between Wainwright and the Bulgarian authorities, according to reports of news.bg.
The terror attack at the Sarafovo airport in July 2012 resulted in seven deaths, including five Israeli tourists, the Bulgarian bus driver and the alleged suicide bomber.
During his one-day visit to Bulgaria, the Europol chief talked with Interior Minister Tsvetlin Yovchev, Vladimir Pisanchev, Chair of the State Agency for National Security (DANS), and Chief Prosecutor Sotir Tsatsarov.
Tsatsarov thanked Europol for the expert, logistic and informational assistance in the investigation of the terror attack at the airport in Bulgaria's Black Sea city of Burgas.
Bulgaria's Chief Prosecutor said that the investigation of the terror attack had to be brought to an end through a court stage, thereby sending a clear signal that terror acts in Bulgaria were punished severely regardless of the perpetrators or the organizations which stood behind them.
Tsatsarov did not specify a deadline by which the prosecuting authority would bring the case to court.
He told journalists that the initial plans had been to reach the court stage in February-March 2014, adding that the authorities had subsequently obtained new information which was currently the subject of an intensive investigation.
The Chief Prosecutor emphasized that it was difficult to set deadlines as it was an extraordinary probe and a large part of the materials were collected through mechanisms of international legal assistance.
To illustrate his point, he said that it had taken 12 letters rogatory to identify the starting point and final point of a person who had entered and left Bulgaria and was certainly connected to the terror act.
The Europol chief and Bulgarian authorities agreed to boost operational cooperation in the fight against all forms of organized crime which had arisen on Bulgarian territory.
After the talks with Tsatsarov, Wainwright announced that the investigation of the terror attack continued with the active support of Europol.
He told journalists that he was impressed with the investigative activities of the Bulgarian authorities and was positive that the probe would be concluded successfully.
Bulgarian Interior Minister Tsvetlin Yovchev noted that Bulgaria's cooperation with Europol had been very productive over the past few years, citing as examples the exchange of information, the joint investigative teams and the joint operations held under the aegis of Europol.
Yovchev acquainted Wainwright with a number of projects which were important for the entire EU, including the counter-terrorism center at DANS, the concept paper and strategy on cyber security, and the five programs aimed at boosting the capacity of the Interior Ministry in the spheres of crime prevention, cooperation with civil society, staff integrity, and building trust.
Yovchev and Tsatsarov wished Wainwright success in his bid to become Interpol chief.
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