Former United Patriots local leader pleads guilty to people-trafficking charges

A former local leader of Valeri Simeonov’s National Front for the Salvation of Bulgaria – part of the United Patriots grouping of nationalist parties – has reached a plea-bargain with prosecutors on people-trafficking charges, the District Prosecutor’s Office in Plovdiv said.

Anelia Veleva and five other accused have agreed on plea bargains with prosecutors, subject to approval by the court.

Veleva pleaded guilty and if the plea bargain is approved, will be sentenced to a three-year suspended sentence with a probationary period of five years.

The former co-ordinator of the NFSB in Kostinbrod, Veleva was held, along with the other five, on July 22 when police intercepted a convoy of cars transporting migrants on Trakiya Motorway, en route from the Turkish border to Bulgaria’s border with Serbia.

Veleva, who after her arrest gave a number of media interviews denying wrongdoing, said on July 28 that she was resigning from the NFSB.

Led by Simeonov, the NFSB is a constituent party of the United Patriots, a grouping of far-right and ultra-nationalist parties that is the minority partner in GERB leader Boiko Borissov’s current coalition government.

A tough line against illegal migration and curtailing of facilities for refugees is a signature issue for the United Patriots.





The Sofia Globe staff

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