Bulgaria’s Interior Ministry has confiscated the firearm of far-right ultra-nationalist Ataka leader Volen Siderov, media reports on May 8 2014 said.
During the anti-government protests that began in June 2013, on more than one occasion photographers captured Siderov entering the National Assembly with a firearm under his jacket.
Siderov, having relinquished his immunity from prosecution as a member of the National Assembly, currently is facing criminal charges in connection with incidents in January on a flight from Sofia to Varna and at Varna Airport. Aboard the aircraft, he was involved in an altercation with a French diplomat and at the airport, allegedly assaulted people, including an Interior Ministry employee.
Siderov denies wrongdoing and describes the charges against him as the result of a political conspiracy.
More recently, the Ataka leader allegedly was involved in the latest in a reported series of public confrontations, this time in a Sofia piano bar. Media reports on May 7 said that Siderov had said that he would sue the complainant against him for slander.
Siderov, elected to Parliament for Ataka in 2005, 2009 and 2013 and a twice-failed presidential candidate, in 2006 and 2011, currently is number one on the Ataka candidate list for Bulgaria’s May 25 European Parliament elections. No opinion poll sees him or his party winning a seat in the European Parliament.