Bulgaria’s Interior Ministry to follow up allegations in US Magnitsky sanctions list

Bulgaria’s caretaker Interior Minister Ivan Demerdzhiev has assigned the ministry’s chief secretary Petar Todorov, and all structures of the ministry, to carry out a comprehensive check of the operational and available information about the five people sanctioned on February 10 under the US Magnitsky Act, the ministry said on February 13.

Those sanctioned are former finance minister Vladislav Goranov, former energy minister Rumen Ovcharov, former Kozloduy nuclear power station head Alexander Hristov Nikolov, former Kozloduy nuclear power station head and former MP Ivan Genov and Russophile leader Nikolai Malinov.

The five were listed “for their extensive involvement in corrupt activities in Bulgaria,” the US Treasury Department said.

Demerdzhiev said that all current and former proceedings should be reviewed, the data consolidated and analysed.

He said that the ministry was engaging with the State Agency for National Security to exchange information.

He expected that there would be further lists with Bulgarian names.

Caretaker Justice Minister Krum Zarkov said that Jim O’Brien, head of the Office of Sanctions Coordination at the US Department of State, would arrive in Bulgaria on February 13. Zarkov is among those O’Brien was to meet.

Zarkov said that there was enough data to conduct an investigation into all the allegations.

More lists under the Magnitsky Act were possible, he said.

On February 10, in a step co-ordinated with the US, the UK announced sanctions against Delyan Peevski, Ilko Zhelyazkov and Vassil Bozhkov.

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