Bulgaria’s Prosecutor-General Sotir Tsatsarov said on March 14 that the allegation made by former prime minister Boiko Borissov – that veteran Bulgarian Turkish politician Ahmed Dogan ordered his assassination – was based on unreliable information passed on by an unidentified foreign intelligence service.
On February 20, after Parliament voted to accept the resignation of his government, Borissov – angered by an allegation made against him by a Movement for Rights and Freedoms (MRF) MP – in turn alleged that Dogan had taken out a contract on him because of Borissov acting against certain organised crime interests.
Tsatsarov was asked by Dogan’s party to investigate the claim, saying that the country’s intelligence service refused to make the document available to senior MRF officials because they did not have the required security clearance.
Tsatsarov said that the report in which the allegation is made was not deemed to be reliable enough – although it did come with a top secret stamp. “The document handed to the National Intelligence Service does not have the status of an official document that would contain classified information,” he told a news conference, as quoted by local media.
The report said that Dogan participated in a plot to murder Borissov in order to be appointed chief secretary of the interior ministry, the position held by Borissov at the time. It did not identify the foreign intelligence service making the allegation, Tsatsarov said.
It was received in June 2005 through official channels; based on this document, the intelligence service prepared a confidential report passed on to the presidency, the prime minister, interior minister, the heads of Bulgaria’s intelligence and protection services, as well as the head of the police department tasked with fighting organised crime.
This report did not contain the allegation made against Dogan, because the National Intelligence Service deemed it extremely unreliable, Tsatsarov said. Borissov was notified of the threat, but not told about the Dogan allegation.
It was not until February 20, the day before he made his claim that Dogan ordered his murder, that Borissov was shown the document making the allegation.
“The prosecutor’s office accepts that the information is not reliable and the National Intelligence Service cannot be accused of hiding the information, because the information has, perhaps not zero, but a very low degree of reliability. There is no data that Ahmed Dogan participated in or planned such activities,” Tsatsarov was quoted as saying.
At the same time, given that the information was not considered confidential, the investigation into whether Borissov broke the law by revealing classified information was now concluded, he said.
In reaction to Tsatsarov’s statement, MRF leader Lyutvi Mestan said that he had asked to meet Tsatsarov and hoped that he would now be shown the document making the allegation against Dogan. (Mestan was a long-time deputy to Dogan and succeeded him as party leader in January; Dogan remains the party’s honorary chairperson.)
He said that Borissov’s allegation was proven to be “grave slander” and was part of a plot to discredit Dogan and MRF.