Bulgaria’s Prosecutor’s Office Takes Firm Stand on US Sanctions, Investigation Follows
The Prosecutor's Office announced today that it is launching an investigation into the information disclosed by the State Department of the United States on corruption activities involving Vasil Bozhkov, Delyan Peevski, Ilko Zheliazkov, Alexander Manolev, Petar Haralampiev and Krasimir Tomov.
The public prosecution states that lawsuites are started against Manolev, Tomov and Haralampiev, and an investigation is underway against Bozhkov.
"The Prosecutor's Office of the Republic of Bulgaria fully shares the opinion of our American partners that the rule of law and compliance with the law are at the heart of every democratic state and standing up for them is impossible without a united and consistent fight against organized crime, money laundering and corruption.
With regard to four of the six individuals subject to sanctions, the Public Prosecutor's Office has already taken timely action to investigate them and claim their criminal liability.'
This is said in the statement of the Prosecutor's Office, circulated to the media today after the US publicly announced on Wednesday the names of the former Bulgarian officials Alexander Manolev, Petar Haralampiev, Krasimir Tomov and Delyan Slavchev Peevski, as well as the current Bulgarian official Ilko Dimitrov Zheliazkov in connection with their engagement in serious corruption.
The US Treasury Department also sanctioned Peevski, Zheliazkov and businessman Vasil Bozhkov, along with 64 entities owned or controlled by Bozhkov and Peevski, for their involvement in corruption, according to Decree 13818, which upgrades and supplements the Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act.
"All persons named in the report will be subject to all necessary actions in accordance with the legal powers of the Prosecutor's Office to verify the information disclosed by the U.S. authorities, including by requesting additional information in due order.
The Prosecutor's Office of the Republic of Bulgaria highly appreciates the assistance that the US competent authorities are rendering to our country as a partner in the fight against organized crime and corruption. We have proven that we have no hesitation in fulfilling our constitutional powers to bring to justice any person for whom evidence of criminal activity has been gathered.
We have always worked and continue to work to defend the public interest, national security and the rights of Bulgarian citizens. Therefore, it is the cooperation with all institutions with similar activities and objectives at a national and international level that is of utmost importance", states the Prosecutor's Office.
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