Bulgaria’s Supreme Court of Cassation (SCC) has switched the prison sentence on Filip Zlatanov, the former head of the government’s commission on preventing conflict of interest, to a suspended one.
The SCC ruled that Zlatanov presented “low personal danger to the public” and, as such, did not require “isolation in penitentiary facility”, replacing the three-and-a-half effective prison sentence with a suspended three-year jail term.
Zlatanov was accused of failing to exercise his duties and overstepping his powers with a view of benefitting or causing damage to third parties in an investigation launched in July 2013. Last year, he was found guilty and handed the prison sentence, despite prosecutors asking for a suspended sentence.
He was accused of using his position to either speed up or delay conflict of interest checks against a number of senior officials, keeping track of “directives” concerning the commission investigations in several personal notebooks. The biggest name on that list was that of President Rossen Plevneliev, but it also included former ministers, former MPs, constitutional judge nominees and senior magistrates.
In a bizarre twist, the notebooks went missing in November 2014 – stolen from an official who left them in his car – sparking an uproar that proved short-lived.
(Screengrab from Bulgarian National Television)