Bulgarian prosecutors formally indict former finance minister

Bulgaria’s prosecutor’s office said on January 13 that it has formally indicted former finance minister and deputy prime minister Simeon Dyankov on charges of mismanagement in an investigation in relation to the sale of the minority stake in the Bulgarian subsidiary of electricity distribution company EVN.

Dyankov is accused of having overstepped his authority in 2011, when he ordered the country’s privatisation agency to award the task of preparing the privatisation assessment of the state-held stake to investment intermediary Bulbrokers.

The prosecution claims that the reduced valuation prepared by the brokerage house caused damages of 20.8 million leva, or about 10.65 million euro, to the Bulgarian state. The prosecutors allege that Dyankov’s actions were carried out at the instigation of Razgrad-born businessman Ivo Prokopiev, the owner of the brokerage house, who was indicted as an accomplice earlier this week.

The latest prosecution statement made no reference, however, to the claims made last week, namely that Dyankov’s actions as finance minister had caused “financial damages to Bulgarian pensioners”.

In that earlier statement, the prosecutor’s office said that the finance ministry’s strategy, drafted in 2010 to deal with the impact of the global financial crisis, envisioned the transfer of state-held minority stakes, including the one in EVN, to a state entity and the proceeds of privatisation were turned over to the state Budget, in breach of the privatisation law, which says that all such proceeds should go to the so-called Silver Fund, a reserve fund meant to insure the stability of Bulgaria’s state-run pension system.

(Photo: minfin.bg)



The Sofia Globe staff

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