2 February 2021



 On January 6, 2021, the Supreme Cassation Prosecutor's Office sent to the Specialized Prosecutor's Office materials received from the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF). The provided data are related to an investigation concerning potential fraud and violations of law in the implementation of the Agreement for the provision of a grant under the Internal Security Fund for the purchase of vehicles for the needs of the Ministry of Interior.

The Prosecutor's Office of the Republic of Bulgaria has been recommended to institute legal proceedings against officials of the Ministry of Interior for  misuse of power and favoring a third party. According to Article 127, paragraph 1 of the Penal Procedure Code (PPC), the reports received from OLAF are one of the main types of written evidence.

 Following the analysis and relevance assessment, by a decree of the supervising prosecutor from the Specialized Prosecutor's Office, the materials received from OLAF were merged with the materials in the case related to investigation of possible trading in influence. In the same pretrial proceedings two persons concerned, were brought to justice and accused under Article 321, paragraph 6 of the Penal Code and under Article 282, paragraph 2 of the Penal Code. In addition to the acts for which the persons have been accused, the subject of investigation is also trading in influence, corruption and criminal breach of trust. This is exactly what determines the merging of the materials received from OLAF in the case of "trading in influence".

In the pre-trial proceedings, investigative actions are actively carried out in order to ensure the objectivity, completeness and comprehensiveness of the facts and circumstances subject to proof, and in view of the legal requirement that the accusation have not be based solely on the  European Anti-Fraud Office investigation reports (art. 127, para 2 of the PPC).

Witnesses are to be interviewed, experts are to be appointed, evidence collected to be assessed and analyzed, and the charges against the persons involved as defendants are to be clarified. When gathering evidence, it is possible to involve other persons as defendants.

The European Public Prosecutor's Office was also informed about the actions taken by the Prosecutor’s Office of the Republic of Bulgaria.