Bulgarian anticorruption commission investigates minister of interior

The minister is under the Commission’s investigation because he had not declared one of his family’s bank deposits in his annual property declaration. [Shutterstock / Serhii Yevdokymov]

The Commission for Combating Corruption and Confiscation of Illegally Acquired Property is leading an investigation against Interior Minister Boyko Rashkov, it was announced during a parliamentary hearing of the president of the Commission Sotir Tsatsarov.

The minister is under the commission’s investigation for failing to declare one of his family’s bank deposits in his annual property declaration. Rashkov is also being investigated for failing to submit a property declaration in time.

Tsatsarov tried to convince MPs that he and the commission are working well and are unbiased. The new ruling coalition is about to reform the commission, which it has accused of being politically motivated.

The new ruling coalition has set the goal of removing Tsatsarov and Chief Prosecutor Ivan Geshev.

On 13 January, Tsatsarov announced his resignation as of 1 March. A day later, it became known that the State Agency for National Security had revoked his access to classified information.

Tsatsarov explained in parliament on Thursday that the suggestions that he had resigned because he knew his access to classified information would be revoked were untrue. He said he informed parliamentary party leaders of his intention to resign 15 days before and the president 10 days later. Only then did the procedure for revoking his permit begin.

Prior to heading the commission, Tsatsarov was chief prosecutor. Following his resignation, he will return to the Supreme Prosecutor’s Office. This does not require special access to classified information, as magistrates have access by default.

He was close to former Prime Minister Boyko Borissov, and in one of Borissov leaked recorded conversations, a high-ranking prosecutor said to Borissov, then PM: “You chose him,” in reference to Tsatsarov.

Under Tsatsarov, at the head of the state prosecution, as with his successor Ivan Geshev, all investigations involving Borissov were swept away.

(Krassen Nikolov | EURACTIV.bg)

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