Bulgaria’s former caretaker PM: ‘No doubt’ there was surveillance of anti-government protesters

Georgi Bliznashki, who was Bulgaria’s caretaker prime minister in 2014 after the resignation of the “Oresharski” cabinet, said on February 11 2015 that he had no doubt that there had been covert surveillance of protesters against the former government.

Bliznashki’s statement is the latest twist in the saga around “Operation Worms”, which current Prime Minister Boiko Borissov, Prosecutor-General Sotir Tsatsarov, former interior minister Tsvetlin Yovchev all have denied was directed against the anti-government protesters of 2013/14.

Meanwhile, Atanas Atanassov, the head of Parliament’s committee on internal security and public order, whose allegations that anti-government protesters were subject to surveillance by the State Agency for National Security, Interior Ministry and department in charge of technical surveillance sparked the controversy, is sticking to his original allegations.

A day after the official denials, and statements that “Operation Worms” instead involved an investigation into unauthorised leaks of classified information by Interior Ministry staff – an investigation that had broken the statutory limits on covert surveillance – Bliznashki told local media that he had “no doubt” that the protesters had been subject to surveillance.

Bliznashki, a supporter of the protests, said that he had established “several times” that tapping had been underway. “For me, this is not an arguable issue.”

He said that what was more important was what may remain in the archives of the departments involved in the surveillance.

“Let us see what happened as it is becoming clear this not simply usual wiretapping but something much more serious,” Bliznashki said.

Atanassov maintained on February 11, as he had said on television on February 5, that “Worms” was related to the monitoring of protesters against the 2013/14 “Oresharski” cabinet.

He said that Borissov had been misled, but did not say by whom.

Bulgarian National Radio reported that Atanassov said that there was “no longer anything” in the SANS dossiers about the matter.

Related stories:

Bulgarian prosecutors: ‘Operation Worms’ did not eavesdrop on protesters

Bulgaria’s eavesdropping saga: the worm turns, again

Bulgarian PM: Findings of probe into eavesdropping on protesters ‘disturbing’

Probe into illegal eavesdropping allegations to be completed soon – Interior Minister

Bulgaria’s former government ‘illegally eavesdropped’ on protesters



The Sofia Globe staff

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