The Plovdiv Regional Prosecutor’s Office has ordered that Assenovgrad chief architect Kostadin Atanassov and businessman Mitkov Zahariev be held in 72-hour custody while a pre-trial investigation into corruption is underway, prosecutors said on May 20.
The State Agency for National Security and economic crimes squad have begun an investigation into corruption at the municipality, which is home to a population of about 60 000, about 19km from Plovdiv.
It is alleged that Atanassov, whose post is the equivalent to that of a town planner, demanded a bribe of 8000 leva (about 4080 euro) from a manager of a branch of a joint-stock company and received the sum from Zahariev in order to give consent to a conceptual investment project.
If found guilty, on charges of extortion and abuse of office, Atanassov could face imprisonment of three to 10 years, a fine of up to 20 000 leva and deprivation of the right to occupy a state or public office.
Prosecutors said that Zahariev would face a charge of bribery. The penalty, if found guilty, is imprisonment for up to six years and a fine of up to 5000 leva.
(Photo: Nenko Lazarov)