Bulgaria’s Prosecutor’s Office to ask US for basis of Magnitsky sanctions on five

Five days after the United States announced Magnitsky Act sanctions on five Bulgaria current and former officials, the Prosecutor’s Office said that a request was pending through the Department of Justice to the relevant institutions in the US to provide the information about the basis for imposing the sanctions.

In a statement on February 15, the Prosecutor’s Office said that it had “long since” taken all necessary actions in accordance with its powers under the constitution and the law in relation to all sanctioned Bulgarian citizens.

Those sanctioned on February 10 are former finance minister Vladislav Goranov, former energy minister Rumen Ovcharov, former Kozloduy nuclear power station head Alexander 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. All five have denied wrongdoing.

The Prosecutor’s Office said that two of those sanctioned, Ovcharov and Malinov, had long since been indicted for crimes they had committed, related to corruption and espionage for Russia, respectively.

Nikolov and Genov were being investigated under already initiated pre-trial proceedings, the statement said.

Goranov also was being investigated under a pre-trial proceeding, it said.

As to Bozhkov, a request had been sent to the UAE in April 2022 to question him as a witness via video conference. To date, the UAE had not fulfilled this request, the Prosecutor’s Office said.

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