Bulgaria PM calls to charge Stanishev in leak scandal

Bulgaria's new PM Borisov urged prosecutors to charge his predecessor Sergei Stanishev and others for the leak of a classified report on organised crime.

Bulgaria PM calls to charge Stanishev in leak scandal

Bulgaria's new Prime Minister Boiko Borisov urged prosecutors on Tuesday to charge his predecessor Sergei Stanishev and others for the leak of a classified report on organised crime.

The report, prepared by the State Agency for National Security last year, was published by local media and on the Internet. It warns about the existence of untouchable parallel structures of power and links between officials and oligarchs.

Borisov said the leak, the latest in a string of scandals that have undermined the security agency, exposed the Balkan country's inability to tame organised crime.

"And if this time all these people (involved in the leak)...do not head to jail, Bulgaria is up to no good," he said. "The underworld knows the methods, the movement of documents, the way the system works".

"Prosecutors must act quickly...if we want to avert the disintegration of the country," Borisov said.

Borisov's centre-right GERB party won a landslide July election on promises to end the climate of impunity and restore the trust of the European Union, which last year punished Sofia by freezing its access to millions in aid over fraud.

The previous Socialist-led government of Stanishev was hit by a series of corruption scandals and was widely accused of being too soft on crime.

EU diplomats and observers say Stanishev failed to sever links between politicians, magistrates and oligarchs most of whom emerged from the former communist party ranks and its feared secret services.

Borisov received a copy of the leaked report last week from a former advisor at the national security agency. The premier said his predecessor Stanishev obtained the document last year but did not return it to the relevant department at the council of ministers and the report disappeared after that.

Stanishev denies any wrongdoing. He was ready to give up his immunity from prosecution, to which he is entitled as a member of parliament, if prosecutors asked him to do it, the Socialist party said in a statement.

Bulgaria has not convicted any senior officials for graft and has jailed only one crime boss since communism collapsed 20 years ago.

Reuters

Güncelleme Tarihi: 28 Ekim 2009, 03:22
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