Bulgaria Prosecutor-General orders probe after allegations of corruption against Culture Minister

Bulgarian Prosecutor-General Sotir Tsatsarov has ordered an investigation following allegations of corruption against Culture Minister Boil Banov, the Prosecutor’s Office said on January 30.

The allegation is that in 2016, while Deputy Minister of Culture, Banov made arrangements so that the contractor for the reconstruction of the Largo in central Sofia escaped paying a 700 000 leva (about 350 000 euro) penalty clause for delays in the work.

The investigation has been assigned to the Special Prosecutor’s Office because of the official position of the person against whom the allegations are directed, the Prosecutor’s Office statement said.

All documentation in connection with the reconstruction of the Largo and the Serdika complex would be demanded today and people involved in the case would be questioned, the statement said.

The allegations were made at a news conference on the morning of January 30 by opposition Bulgarian Socialist Party MP Elena Yoncheva.

Prosecutors earlier laid charges against Yoncheva of large-scale money laundering. She rejects these allegations as unfounded and as trumped up against her by Prime Minister Boiko Borissov’s GERB party.

Banov, addressing a January 30 meeting of the Cabinet, rejected the allegations as a cheap attempt by Yoncheva to compromise him. He said that behind the allegations was a disgruntled former official who had been fired from the Culture Ministry. Banov said that he would press charges of racketeering against the former official.

(Photo: Sotir Tsatsarov, left, and Boil Banov)



The Sofia Globe staff

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