Bulgarian prosecutors end money-laundering probe against former deputy Parliament Speaker
Sofia City Court has ended on February 10 pre-trial proceedings against former MP Hristo Biserov, after prosecutors dropped their investigation into alleged money laundering last week, specialist judiciary news website Legalworld.bg reported.
The prosecutor’s office opened the investigation in November 2013, but never submitted a bill of indictment to the court, which prompted Biserov to ask prosecutors, late last year, to either submit the charges in court or drop them, the report said. In December 2015, a judge issued an order giving the prosecutors’ office a three-month deadline to do so, with prosecutors deciding to drop charges on February 3.
The investigation focused on financial operations carried out by Biserov and his step-son, Ivailo Glavinkov, between December 2012 and February 2013, involving about $315 000 and 117 000 euro.
Biserov, deputy leader of the Movement for Rights and Freedoms and Deputy Speaker of Bulgaria’s 42nd National Assembly, resigned abruptly from all leadership positions of the party and from Parliament in November 2013, only days before prosecutors announced that they opened an investigation against him.
The probe was opened after the prosecutor-general received a report from the State Agency for National Security detailing suspicious movement of funds from accounts in one European country to another European country, the prosecutor’s office said in a statement at the time.
In a separate lawsuit, he was indicted on charges of large-scale tax evasion, breaking the law on currency transactions and document fraud, as well as failing to submit accurate asset declarations as an elected official. He was found not guilty on all charges in a two-day trial last year, although the prosecutor’s office said that it would appeal the ruling.
(Photo of Hristo Biserov on an MRF campaign poster: dps.bg)