Bulgaria’s Prosecutor’s Office said on November 22 that it has filed charges of embezzlement and abuse of office against Tsvetan Tsvetanov.
Tsvetanov, the former interior minister and deputy prime minister in the Boiko Borissov cabinet, has already been formally charged in two other cases – with alleged failure to exercise oversight over the use wiretaps by the Interior Ministry during his time in office and for refusing to authorise wire-tapping as part of a police investigation.
Tsvetanov is accused of authorising the payment of 50 000 leva for Orlin Todorov, the former head of the Veliko Turnovo unit of the interior ministry’s chief directorate for combatting organised crime (CDCOC), despite Todorov being under arrest and investigation.
In July, Tsvetanov was also indicted because he denied use of wire-taps against Todorov, which prevented the collection of evidence in that investigation. As interior minister, it was Tsvetanov’s duty to authorise the wire-taps after a court order had been issued, the prosecution said at the time.
The latest indictment cites article 202 of Bulgaria’s Penal code, which envisions a sentence of between three and 15 years in jail for large-scale embezzlement by a public official. He was not detained, but the prosecutor’s office asked him not to leave the country.
Speaking to reporters Tsvetanov said he was innocent of the charges against him and re-iterated that the prosecution aimed to discredit him for political reasons.