Pressure grows to unveil list of corrupt magistrates, politicians

Bulgarian caretaker interior minister Boyko Rashkov accused on Sunday the prosecution of keeping secret a list of 38 magistrates and politicians who own undeclared property abroad. [Shutterstock/Faievych Vasyl]

Bulgarian caretaker interior minister Boyko Rashkov accused on Sunday the prosecution of keeping secret a list of 38 magistrates and politicians who own undeclared property abroad.

The list was made back in 2019 when the Bulgarian authorities asked foreign countries to inform them of the property owned by Bulgarian nationals.

Ever since, the prosecution has kept the list secret and has not initiated checks on any of the magistrates and politicians concerned.

According to Rashkov, the list largely reflects high-level corruption, because the persons concerned could not explain the origin of the money they used to pay for the properties. He said the list has probably been used as an instrument of pressure against those concerned. In particular, he said, the list is the possible explanation why the High Judicial Council appears to serve the Prosecutor General Ivan Geshev.

The caretaker government has been digging into corruption schemes developed during the rule of former Prime Minister Boyko Borissov and has exposed many of them. However, it is unlikely that the prosecution will investigate them as Geshev is considered as the guarantor of the corrupt system against which many thousands of Bulgarians took to the streets in 2020. The April 2021 elections produced three new political forces stemming from the protests, but these could not form a government and snap elections will be held on 11 July.

A recent poll shows that almost 60% of Bulgarians believe the government of Boyko Borissov was corrupt, and a similar number said they fear repressions if they expose corruption. Some 19% admitted that they have paid bribes. (Georgi Gotev | EURACTIV)

Subscribe to our newsletters

Subscribe