The head of Bulgaria’s special committee investigating high-level corruption said on February 11 2013 that he had reported alleged corruption by three prosecutors to the country’s Prosecutor-General.
Committee chairperson Yane Yanev, leader of the minority Order Law and Justice party, made the announcement after a meeting with Prosecutor-General Sotir Tsatsarov.
The three prosecutors that are the subject of the allegations are Georgi Tafrov of the Sofia City Prosecutor’s Office, Hristo Gramatikov of the Supreme Cassation Prosecution and Stoicho Nenkov, an Appellate Prosecutor.
Yanev alleged that the three were involved in a long-running corruption scheme in the energy sector from 2004 to 2007. The scheme occurred during the terms in office of four ministers of energy, he said.
Political pressure had been exerted on the prosecutor and there was evidence of bribes, Yanev alleged.
He said that investigations were proceeding to cover the years after 2007.
The allegations arise from the awarding in 2004 to private company EFT AG the export sale of electricity generated in Bulgaria. Allegedly, electricity was exported at tariffs 30 to 70 per cent lower than on the domestic market. The transactions are said to have meant a loss to the National Electricity Company of 90 million leva.
Yanev said that investigations in alleged criminal negligence and influence peddling had been improperly terminated.
According to Bulgarian-language website Mediapool, while EFT Group had a Swiss, Danish and British “façade”, the group “de facto” belong to Serbian businessman, and Slovenian and British passport holder, Vuk Hamovic. In 2005, EFT Bulgaria was set up with the involvement of Bogomil Manchev, head of Risk Engineering, one of the most powerful figures in the energy industry in Bulgaria.
(Photo: Sotir Tsatsarov, Bulgaria’s Prosecutor-General: BNT)