Bulgaria’s Prosecuting Authority Starts Probe Over Bribe Claims of Defense Minister
Bulgaria’s prosecuting authority is launching an inspection in connection with an interview of Defense Minister Nikolay Nenchev in which he states that he has been offered a bribe.
In an interview for Sega daily published on April 24, 2015 titled “I was offered a percentage of the deal for the maintenance of MiG-29 aircraft in exchange for my approval” he informs about a meeting with unnamed people during which he was told about an offer to receive a substantial percentage of a contract worth BGN 80 M for the maintenance of the MiG-29 fighter jets in exchange for his approval of the deal.
Nenchev argues that his refusal to sign the contract for the modernization of Bulgaria’s MiG-29 jets triggered attacks against him.
Bulgaria’s Defense Minister claims that the attacks come from affected parties, who have been “parasitizing” on the Defense Ministry for years, and are also closely related to certain companies.
He adds that Major General Rumen Radev, Commander of the Bulgarian Air Force, has said that the price tag of BGN 80 M announced for the modernization of the Russian aircraft is triple the normal cost of the overhaul.
Nenchev explains that the percentage of the BGN 80 M deal was offered to him via an intermediary.
He also suggests that he has been issued death threats in connection with his official duties as Defense Minister.
The prosecuting authority specifies in a media statement that Nenchev has not yet submitted a tip-off about the bribe despite the fact that the law imposes an obligation on him to do so.
The inspection is being carried out by the specialized anti-corruption unit, according to a media statement of the prosecuting authority, as cited by Sega daily.
Nenchev is to be interviewed, after which the authorities will decide whether it is necessary to collect more data.
The alleged death threats against Nenchev will also be investigated, according to the press release.
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