Bulgaria’s Dossier Commission, the statutory body that checks and discloses the names of people in certain categories who formerly worked for the country’s communist-era State Security, has named yet another agent working in the media.
According to an announcement by the Dossier Commission on May 29, Vesselin Dremdzhiev, head of news at Bulgaria on Air, a local cable television station, worked for the Sixth Department of State Security as Agent Bogdan.
Born in 1958, Dremdzhiev was recruited in 1985, the Dossier Commission said.
Voted into law by Parliament in late 2006, the Dossier Commission has over the years identified large numbers of former communist-era secret service agents and collaborators in state institutions, with an especially high proportion in the Foreign Ministry, as well as in the leadership of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church, business associations, trade unions, polling agencies and the media.
Other figures in the Bulgarian media recently named by the Dossier Commission as having worked for State Security include Antoni Georgiev, publisher of an English-language magazine.
The Dossier Commission said on May 15 that Georgiev (50) was recruited in 1988 and worked for the Sixth Department of State Security – effectively, the political police department – as Agent Boiko. Georgiev was announced in his capacity as owner of the magazine.
Previous disclosures by the Dossier Commission about State Security people in the media have included Ivan Garelov (Agent Talev), Kevork Kevorkian (Agent Dimitar) and Georgi Koritarov (Agent Albert).
In an earlier check of various categories of senior staff at state-owned media, the Dossier Commission found that after 1989, employees with State Security backgrounds at Bulgarian National Television numbered 43, Bulgarian National Radio 60 and news agency BTA, 20.
Also reported by the Dossier Commission to have been State Security people were various media owners – Radosvet Radev of Darik Radio, Krassimir Uzunov of news agency Focus, BBT founder Petar Mandjukov and Standart owner Todor Batkov.
* Meanwhile, the Dossier Commission also has continued its disclosures about “credit millionaires” with links to State Security.
On May 29 2013, the Commission said that 22 people – managers or owners of companies – who had debts to the now-defunct Mineralbank had been associates or employees of the former State Security.
The bank was one of those that collapsed in 1996/97, loaded by huge bad loans.
Parliament amended the law governing the Dossier Commission in 2012 to enable it to check credit millionaires, with the aim of shedding light on links between schemes that produced sudden large wealth and the former State Security apparatus. The Commission checks people who owed, in today’s money, more than a million leva (about 500 000 euro, or in the pre-1999 pre-redenominated lev, a billion leva)
The Dossier Commission also highlighted the names of members of the management of International Asset Bank who had been associated with State Security. Some of the names had been announced previously, such as Mladen Mutafchiiski, a member of the supervisory board of the bank between 2003 and 2007, and Ivan Dragnevski, a former deputy governor of the bank. The bank has undergone a number of changes in capital and ownership, and name, since its founding in 1989 as Kremikovtsi Commercial Bank.
A name not previously announced was that of Vassil Simov, a board member of the bank from 1993 to 1994 and currently governor of the stock exchange in Sofia. Born in 1958 and recruited in 1976, he was Agent Vladko, according to the Dossier Commission.
(Photo: Christa Richert/sxc.hu)