A Bulgarian journalist has laid a complaint with police alleging that Volen Siderov, leader of the ultra-nationalist Ataka party, assaulted him in an incident in an office in Parliament on January 16 2013.
Siderov denies the allegation.
The incident happened after the reporter, Luchezar Lisitsov, asked Siderov whether he had travelled to Paris in the company of Ataka MP Denitsa Gadzheva and who had paid for the trip.
Lisitsov, who is employed by a Bulgarian-language website, followed Siderov into the parliamentary office of Ataka where, Lisitsov said, the assault took place, resulting in a leg injury. Siderov said that the injury was self-inflicted.
Ataka MP Desislav Chukolov told journalists in Parliament that Lisitsov had entered the room without permission to ask for an interview with Siderov. Siderov had entered the room to get his coat on the way to another interview and politely had asked the journalist to leave, but the reporter had stuck his foot in the door, Lisitsov said.
Lisitsov said that Chukolov had locked the door and Siderov had taken his tape recorder. He said his injury came from Siderov kicking his ankles. The reporter alleged that Chukulov had kicked him too.
Ataka introduced to journalists a witness, a supporter of the party, who said that Lisitsov had grabbed the back of Siderov’s jacket and when the Ataka leader moved away, had kicked the door. The party said that Lisitsov was a former employee of Skat – Ataka’s mouthpiece television channel – and had a grudge against the leader.
(Photo: Clive Leviev-Sawyer)