Bulgarian security service checks top judge’s car after tyre bolts found missing – report

Bulgaria’s National Protection Service initiated an investigation after the official car that was used by the head of the Supreme Cassation Court was found to have tyre bolts missing or loose.

According to a June 6 report by Bulgaria’s Nova Televizia, Lozan Panov – head of the Supreme Cassation Court, which is the top court for all criminal and civil cases – had planned a working visit to Berkovitsa in north-west Bulgaria on June 1.

After embarking on the 87km trip from Sofia to Berkovitsa, the driver and Panov both heard odd noises coming from the rear of the car.

On the way back, the noises intensified and the driver stopped the car near the village of Briziya, which is about six km outside Berkovitsa. The driver, a National Protection Service staffer, found that two bolts on the rear left tyre were missing and three were loose.

The National Protection Service was informed and an investigation begun, the report said.

The report emerged on the same day that Panov held talks with President Roumen Radev, at Radev’s request, on judicial reform.

A few weeks ago, Panov made a public call to Radev to appoint an official commission of investigation into the so-called “Tzum-gate” affair in which the Prosecutor-General held talks with a businessman in the office of another businessman. Radev declined to appoint such a commission, saying that this was not his constitutional role.

Speaking to reporters on June 6, Panov likened the incident of the loose tyre bolts to the scene in the Godfather in which the severed head of a horse in left in a bed in a mafia-style warning.

Panov noted that he had been under sustained attack in recent weeks in media linked to controversial business person and MRF MP Delyan Peevski.

A month ago, Panov said that he expected that the public verbal attacks against him could go as far as a “natural remedy”.




The Sofia Globe staff

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