Bulgaria’s prosecutor’s office said on April 9 that it has finished the investigation against Hristo Biserov, a former deputy leader of the Movement for Rights and Freedoms (MRF) who served as deputy speaker of Parliament in 2013, and have filed the lawsuit in court.
Biserov is charged with large-scale tax evasion, breaking the law on currency transactions and document fraud, for failing to submit accurate asset declarations as an elected official. If convicted, he faces up to eight years in jail for the tax avoidance charges, with the other two crimes carrying lesser prison terms.
Biserov’s bail has been set at 25 000 leva and he was also banned from leaving the country, the prosecutor’s office said in a statement.
Biserov surprisingly resigned from all leadership positions in MRF and from Parliament on November 3 2013, citing personal reasons. Just days later, on November 7 2013, prosecutors said that they opened an investigation against Biserov and his stepson, Ivailo Glavinkov, after receiving a report from the State Agency for National Security (SANS) detailing suspicious movement of funds from accounts in other European countries.
Biserov and Glavinkov also made term deposits, withdrew cash and transferred funds to companies registered in the Seychelles, according to the SANS report, as quoted by the prosecutor’s office statement.
A week later, on November 15, the prosecutor’s office said that it pressed charges against both Biserov and Glavinkov.
Biserov entered politics in Bulgaria in the early 1990s, serving as an MP for the right-wing Union of Democratic Forces (UDF) between 1991 and 2001, when he was expelled – along with Yordan Tsonev, currently also an MRF MP – from the party.
Biserov had been chief secretary of the UDF but was replaced by Ekaterina Mihailova, after he which Biserov announced that he disagreed with the way that party leader and then-prime minister Ivan Kostov ran the UDF and demanded Kostov’s resignation. This led to his expulsion.
Biserov returned to Parliament in 2005, as an MP for the predominantly ethnic Turk MRF and was one of its frontbenchers until his resignation in 2013.
(Photo of Hristo Biserov on an MRF campaign poster: dps.bg)