The arrest of ex-Prime Minister Boyko Borissov continued to be a hot topic on Friday. The State Police detained Borissov at around 20.30 on Thursday evening and later, his closest party associates - PR Sevdalina Arnaudova, and former Finance Minister Vladislav Goranov. This provoked some street protests in defense of GERB's leader.
Today, Prime Minister Kiril Petkov said that he had been questioned by police on Borissov's case to establish what he had discussed with Laura Koveshi, as well as on a report by the Finance Ministry. Yet no formal explanation for Borissov's detention has yet been given. It only became clear that the investigation relates to alleged offenses committed between 2014 and 2019, according to information supplied to the press, including Capital.
Bulgarian Prosecutor's Office to investigate Borissov
Sofia Prosecutor's Office was notified today by an investigating police officer that pre-trial proceedings had been initiated yesterday. Realistically, however, the Bulgarian prosecutor's office will have to work on the investigation because it is outside the competence of the European Prosecutor's Office (EPO).
"There is such an action" (underway) "but we can neither confirm nor deny the arrests. The case will be announced at a later stage", said Tine Holeviot, spokeswoman for the EPO of which Koveshi is the head.
Assen Vassilev: Borissov investigated over 556 million levs in liabilities to the state budget
Deputy Prime Minister Assen Vassilev suggested that Borissov's detainment is connected to a scandal involving former lottery businessman Vassil Bozhkov dating back to 2017. Bozhkov now claims that he testified against Borissov to the European Prosecutor's Office.
"The action follows Bozhkov's signal and also a report from the State Financial Inspection Agency from last summer. The report found that there were liabilities of 556 million levs due to inaction on the part of the Gambling Commission which was headed by the ex-Finance Minister Vladislav Goranov. These documents were sent to the Bulgarian Prosecutor's Office, which did not take any action to protect taxpayers' money," noted Vassilev.
Bulgaria expels 10 Russian diplomats
Bulgaria has declared 10 Russian diplomats from its embassy to be personae non gratae in Sofia. Bulgaria's Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that the diplomats had been given 72 hours to leave the country. The move is at the behest of "the competent authorities of the Republic of Bulgaria, coordinated with Prime Minister Kiril Petkov," ran the statement.