Sofia court releases Corporate Commercial Bank executive director on bail

At a hearing that lasted about nine hours until about 2am on July 14, Sofia City Court ordered Corporate Commercial Bank Orlin Roussev released on 10 000 leva (about 5000 euro) bail, transferred a senior bank official to house arrest and remanded a further two in custody in connection with embezzlement charges.

The court held the hearing on an application by prosecutors for all four to be remanded in custody in connection with alleged embezzlement of hundreds of millions of leva from Corporate Commercial Bank.

Judge Penka Velinova noted that there was evidence of an offence by Corporate Commercial Bank majority shareholder Tsvetan Vassilev, but no charges against him. Vassilev, who denies wrongdoing, is not in Bulgaria but has said that he will return to the country in coming days.

Allegations are that Roussev and chief cashier Margarita Petrova siphoned close to 206 million leva from the bank while chief accountant Maria Dimova and her deputy Borislava Kyuchukova were accomplices in concealing the embezzlement. The alleged embezzlement took place between December 2011 and June 19 2014, according to prosecutors.

The court ordered Dimova moved to house arrest over health problems and ordered Petrova and Kyuchukova to remain in custody.

Judge Velinova said that a serious flaw in the investigation was the lack of forensic accounting clarifying the allegation about the misappropriation of the money being concealed using false documentation.

The main prosecution witness is Bisser Lazov, a former partner of Vassilev, who alleged how the money was removed from the bank and given to Vassilev, while another key witness is Teodora Taneva, chief executive of a company associated with Corporate Commercial Bank.

The Sofia City Court’s decision is subject to an appeal in Sofia Appellate Court, set for July 22.




The Sofia Globe staff

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