24 June 2020

Specialized Prosecutor’s Office investigates senior officials and magistrates of criminal association for the purpose of trading in influence

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By decree of prosecutor’s from the Specialized Prosecutor’s Office P.B was brought as a defendant in pre-trial proceedings for participation in an organized criminal group, created for profit and with the participation of officials.

By decree of prosecutor’s from the Specialized Prosecutor’s Office P.B was brought as a defendant in pre-trial proceedings for participation in an organized criminal group, created for profit and with the participation of officials. A measure of restraint was imposed on him - a guarantee in the amount of 1 million BGN, which he was obliged to pay by June 14, 2020, inclusive. Due to non-receipt of the amount on the account of the Specialized Prosecutor's Office and failure to present a payment document within the specified period, as well as new evidence was collected, the accused was detained for up to 72 hours in order to bring him in front the Specialized Criminal Court. During the pre-trial proceedings, a computer-technical expertise of seized mobile phones and tablets used by the defendants in the case was appointed and prepared. The information analyzed in the expertise exceeds 200 GB. As can be seen from the content of communication from the examined mobile phone and mobile computer information system used by the accused P.B., the presence of information in the form of text, sound and images is established. It is evident from the same that the accused P.B. has communicated with various addressees, including persons with immunity, senior civil servants, as well as with defendants and accused persons in cases of the Specialized Prosecutor's Office, some of whom are fleeing abroad in order to avoid criminal liability.

Communication was also established through various mobile applications of the accused P.B, probably with the Secretary for Legal Affairs and Anti-Corruption of President P.U., as well as with the current magistrate – N.N., who applied in 2019 for Administrative Head of the District Prosecutor's Office - Ruse.

After a criminal-legal analysis of the conclusion of the expertise and the appendices to it, the supervising prosecutors have established evidence of a crime under Art. 321, paragraph 6 from the penal code. In this regard, on 19.06.2020, after the permission of a judge, personal searches of the persons P.U. and N.N., as well as searches and seizures. Material evidence relevant to the subject of proof shall be seized, and after their analysis the supervising prosecutors will assess whether there is sufficient evidence to engage the criminal liability of the same.

In view of the consistent practice of the Prosecutor's Office of the Republic of Bulgaria to inform Bulgarian citizens in cases of high public interest and with the permission of the supervising prosecutors, the Specialized Prosecutor's Office published part of the communication of the accused P.B. with the persons P.U. and N.N., relating to two separate cases:
The first case concerns the exchange of text messages between P.B. and a person designated as “President-Pl. Uzunov ". It is evident from the communication that on December 27, 2018, “President-Pl. Uzunov” sent a series of messages to the accused with the following content: “There is only a draft decision”, “You will see it first”, “Not signed yet”. In response, P.B. it says, "I understand." On the same day at 4.20 pm the accused received from “President-Pl. Uzunov” and a photo file of a court decision, accompanied by clarifying text: “This will be in the original”. On January 3, 2019, “President-Pl. Uzunov” sends to P.B. link to a court decision of a panel of the Supreme Administrative Court dated 02.01.2019 (the first working day of the year). As can be seen from the decision published on the court's website, it is identical to the text sent by “President-Pl. Uzunov” at 4.20 pm on December 27, 2018. The second case concerns the exchange of text messages between P.B. and a person identified as “Proc. Niki Nikolov". The communication between the two was conducted in late November and early December 2019 and coincides with a procedure for electing an administrative head of the District Prosecutor's Office - Ruse. As can be seen from the minutes of a meeting of the Prosecutorial Board of the Supreme Judicial Council, held on 04.12.2019, after an open vote, another candidate participating in the procedure was appointed as an administrative head. In this regard, the supervising prosecutors will also assess whether, in the event that there is evidence of seeking disciplinary liability of the magistrate, they will respectively refer to the Prosecutor General of the Republic of Bulgaria. The Specialized Prosecutor's Office stated that it would continue its actions to investigate and prosecute perpetrators of crimes, regardless of their official position, social status and political affiliation. We are aware that this is the only way to restore the confidence of Bulgarian citizens in justice and to refute the imposed misconception about the inviolability of criminal prosecution of a certain group of persons.