Bulgaria's Ex-Spy Chief Faces New Embezzlement Charges

Crime | January 16, 2017, Monday // 12:15
Bulgaria: Bulgaria's Ex-Spy Chief Faces New Embezzlement Charges Kircho Kirov, the former head of the National Intelligece Service (renamed to State Intelligence Agency). File photo, BGNES

A second indictment will be filed on Monday against former Bulgarian intelligence head Kircho Kirov, the prosecution says.

Kirov, found guilty of large scale-embezzlement last year (becoming the first high-profile Bulgarian official sentenced to jail time), had his sentence overturned by a last-instance court.

But the Bulgarian Chief Prosecutor's spokesperson announced on Monday he would be brought before court over another count of embezzlement.

Kirov headed the State Intelligence Agency (until 2015 named National Intelligence Service) between 2002 and 2012.

He allegedly took BGN 5.1 M in budget funding between 2007 and 2011 for activities the intelligence agency did not carry out subsequently.

One of his subordinates acted as his accomplice, according to spokesperson Rumyana Arnaudova.

The activities Kirov cited submitting his budget requests to the government had been carried out back in 1999.

The former spy chief maintained during his first trial, which involved the alleged embezzlement of BGN 4.7 M, that the charges against him were politically motivated.

However, as the court sittings on that trial were ongoing, Kirov's mention of money used for four intelligence operations led prosecutors to look into expenses for the activities in question traced back to 1999.

In the pretrial proceedings leading to the second indictment, 15 intelligence officers were inquired and all of them denied having carried out the activities or receiving any money for them, according to Arnaudova.

Kirov headed the intelligence agency under three Prime Ministers, namely Boyko Borisov, Sergey Stanishev, and Simeon Saxe-Coburg-Gotha.

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Tags: intelligence, State Intelligence Agency, National Intelligence Service, Kircho Kirov, embezzlement, Rumyana Arnaudova
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