Twenty-seven Bulgarian judges, prosecutors and investigators failed to declare bank accounts and properties abroad, in violation of the law, an investigation by the State Agency for National Security found, according to a statement on October 23 by the Prosecutor’s Office.
The statement came in reaction to allegations in the Bulgarian media that Ivan Geshev, the sole candidate to be Bulgaria’s next Prosecutor-General, had hidden large sums in bank accounts in Switzerland and Monaco.
The Prosecutor’s Office said that an investigation had found that the documents on which these allegations were based were fake.
It said that in May 2019, Prosecutor-General Sotir Tsatsarov had asked the State Agency for National Security for information on bank accounts, participation in offshore companies, real estate and investments by people in high public office that were held abroad and which they had not declared, in violation of Bulgarian statute.
The State Agency for National Security had in July 2019 informed the Prosecutor’s Office that it had found that 11 people holding “high public office” had not declared holding, themselves or through “related or affiliated persons”, bank accounts abroad, real estate or other participation of considerable value, as well as participation in foreign companies and spending and investments abroad.
In August, the State Agency for National Security also received information about members of the judiciary holding bank accounts and real estate abroad. A follow-up investigation by prosecutors from Bulgaria’s Supreme Court of Cassation named 27 people.
This meant a further investigation whether Bulgaria’s tax laws had been complied with, the Prosecutor’s Office said.
Tsatsarov had asked the National Revenue Agency to investigate 38 people, including the members of the judiciary, the statement said.
“After the completion of the tax inspections, the Prosecutor’s Office will assess the existence of prerequisites for initiating criminal proceedings against persons for tax crimes committed,” the statement said.
It said that Geshev was not among those found to be holding bank accounts or other property in violation of Bulgarian law.
(Photo: Filippo Vicarelli)