Dossier Commission: Bulgarian Orthodox Church, Intelligence Agency, Military Intelligence refusing to co-operate

Written by on January 20, 2019 in Bulgaria - Comments Off on Dossier Commission: Bulgarian Orthodox Church, Intelligence Agency, Military Intelligence refusing to co-operate

The Bulgarian Orthodox Church, Military Intelligence and the State Intelligence Agency have been refusing to provide lists of people that the law requires to be checked for affiliation to Bulgaria’s communist-era secret services, the Dossier Commission said in a report tabled in Parliament.

The Dossier Commission, charged by law with checking and announcing whether people in various walks of life worked for communist-era State Security or the Bulgarian People’s Army military intelligence, said that the three institutions had refused to provide the lists, in spite of many requests in writing from the commission.

The report, posted on the website of the commission and of Parliament, covers the period July 20 2018 to December 20.

Seven years ago, it emerged from a check by the commission that the majority of members – 11 out of 15 – of the Holy Synod, the governing body of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church, had collaborated with State Security.

Since then, a number of members of the Holy Synod have died or in a very few cases, stepped down. The new and current members are liable by law to be checked, though a few would be too young to be within the threshold set by law.

The State Intelligence Agency (SIA), by its own description, is “a security service, which obtains, processes, analyzes and provides the state leadership with intelligence, assessments, analyses and prognoses, related to the national security, interests and priorities of the Republic of Bulgaria”.

As with Military Intelligence, the SIA officials subject to checking include the director, deputy directors, heads of directorates, and heads of departments.

The Dossier Commission said that in the case of leaders, deputy leaders and members of the governing and supervisory bodies of political parties and coalitions, lists were currently being collected.

“A number of parties, including parliamentary representatives, have not yet provided lists,” the commission said, without naming the parties.

It said that during the period covered by the report, close to 8000 people were screened.

The commission had established that 728 had worked for State Security or the Bulgarian People’s Army military intelligence. The names of 475 were announced.

The rest were not announced, for various reasons provided for in law, including because of their work with classified information, or because they are dead, or because they are not public persons and do not carry out public activities.

Since it was founded by a 2006 statute, Bulgaria’s Dossier Commission has announced thousands of names as having worked for the country’s communist-era secret services, as agents or collaborators.

These have included, apart from politicians in various parties, also ambassadors abroad, public opinion pollsters, business association leaders, trade union leaders, top clergy of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church and other religious groups, journalists and credit millionaires, as well officials at various levels of government.

In April 2018, a poll found that about 61.4 per cent of Bulgarians believe that people holding elected office or who are in positions of leadership should be checked to see whether they worked for the country’s communist-era secret services State Security and military intelligence. This was according to a poll by the Exacta Research Group, which found that only 16 per cent of those surveyed did not believe this was necessary, while 22.6 per cent were undecided.

(Photo: Dossier Commission)

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