Pleven prosecutor arrested in Palace of Justice in Sofia on organised crime charges, gaoler also held
A prosecutor from the Regional Prosecutor’s Office in the northern Bulgarian town of Pleven was arrested while in the Palace of Justice in Sofia on June 6, and faces charges of involvement in an organised crime group.
Also arrested was a prisons department employee. Both are alleged to be involved in a crime group headed by Kamen “The Hook” Balbuzanov.
Prosecutor Dimitar Zahariev was arrested in the court building in the capital city where he was due to appear in a trial. The gaoler was taken into custody in Pleven.
Separately, the Bulgarian Prosecutor-General’s office said on June 6 that a judge from the Regional Court in Radnevo was facing charges of document fraud.
Radnevo Regional Court Judge Lyuba Petrova was suspended from office by the Supreme Judicial Council on May 23 2017 pending the completion of her trial.
The special anti-corruption unit has now lodged a charge sheet, which alleges that in March 2017, Petrova falsified court records, including that a trial had been terminated which it had not. She allegedly also put into the record false information that the identity of an expert witness in a court case had been lost.
This is the second time that criminal charges have been lodged against Judge Petrova. The Sofia City Court is still hearing the first, which involves forgeries, perjury, fraud and other offences.
(Photo of the Palace of Justice in Sofia: Clive Leviev-Sawyer)