Bulgarian prosecutors ask Parliament to lift immunity from MP in embezzlement investigation
Bulgaria’s prosecutor-general Sotir Tsatsarov has filed a formal request to Parliament, asking for the House to lift the immunity of Iliya Iliev, an MP for the Movement for Rights and Freedoms, as part of an embezzlement investigation, the prosecutor-general’s office said on March 7.
An investigation by Rousse district prosecutors and Sofia city prosecutors have collected evidence that Iliev was an accessory to large-scale embezzlement, the statement said. The MP served as an accessory to two railway officials to embezzle the money, according to prosecutors.
The prosecutors alleged that in 2007/09, when Iliev was a Sofia city councillor, he effectively controlled three companies using dummy ownership. The companies signed four contracts with the National Railways Infrastructure Company for maintenance and repair work, but the work was carried out by the infrastructure company’s employees instead of the contractors, during their regular work times and with no additional remuneration.
Iliev is alleged to have been actively involved in all the contract negotiations and, according to prosecutors, was the person who provided the fraudulent paperwork on which the payments were authorised. In total, the companies were paid 3.14 million leva (1.6 million euro) on the four contracts.
(Bulgaria’s National Assembly building. Photo: Clive Leviev-Sawyer)