4 June 2021

STATEMENT BY THE SPOKEPERSON OF THE PROSECUTOR GENERAL SIYKA MILEVA

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Today, June 4, 2021, the spokesperson of the Prosecutor General Siyka Mileva made a statement for the media. Herewith is the full text:

The Prosecutor's Office of the Republic of Bulgaria expressed a position in which it fully supports the partners of the United States of America that the rule of law and law-abiding are at the core of any democratic state and their defense is impossible without united opposition of all institutions against crime, in particular corruption, money laundering and organized crime. Therefore, a constructive dialogue and interaction is needed between the judiciary in the face of the Prosecution and the Executive in the face of all law enforcement bodies within their functional competence. This can hardly happen in the context of political attacks on the judiciary.

Тhe Supreme Cassation Prosecutor's Office referred  the matter on its own initiative in connection  with the report of the US Department of the Treasury and instituted six file cases against each of the persons subject to sanctions.  With regard to the accused Bozhkov, in addition to 18 charges for various crimes, several investigations are being conducted in the Specialized Prosecutor's Office with different subject of activity. It remains to be determined whether the subject of the inspection coincides with the subject of the investigations and if so, it will be sent to the competence of the Specialized Prosecutor's Office.

With regard to Manolev, Haralampiev and Tomov, Blagoevgrad District Prosecutor's Office and the Specialized Prosecutor's Office have submitted indictments and lawsuits against them in criminal court proceedings. All crimes for which they are criminally liable are corruption offences and they fall within the Unified Catalog of Corruption Crimes, introduced by an order of the Prosecutor General in 2014 in pursuance of the recommendations of the European Commission.

It should be noticed that a large part of the circumstances mentioned in the discussed report of the US Treasury Department are probably based on the work of the Prosecutor's Office of the Republic of Bulgaria and the evidence gathered by it - some of which have already been submitted to the court. Only the Bulgarian court can decide whether a person is guilty or not, because the presumption of innocence is a fundamental principle in any democratic country.

Regarding Peevski, a number of inspections have been carried out by the Prosecutor's Office over the years. They are yet to be analyzed.

As for the persons Bozhkov, Haralampiev, Tomov, Manolev, Peevski, as well as with respect to the person Zhelyazkov, a full inspection and analysis of what is stated in the report of the US Treasury Department will be carried out.

In case of data found for committed crimes, all necessary actions will be taken, which are within the competence of the Prosecution. In this regard, the Prosecution will request our partner of the law enforcement bodies to specify and provide detailed information.

I avail myself of  the opportunity to make additional points on another topic, namely the series of comments of politically engaged persons about the so-called "Illegal wiretapping". Criminal proceedings were instituted under the supervision of the Sofia City Prosecutor's Office, which was assigned to the National Investigation Service for investigation. Eleven witnesses have already been questioned on the case, information has been requested from the General Directorate Combating Organized Crime , the Internal Security Directorate within the Ministry of Interior and State Agency for National Security. From the responses received so far, it is clear that "illegal wiretapping" of persons involved in political life and the elections for the 45th National Assembly of the Republic of Bulgaria has not been established.

In view of the information disseminated in the mass media, including yesterday, the case was referred to the  National Special Intelligence Means Control Bureau, from which information was requested - whether there is a violation of the Special Intelligence Means Act and whether they were subject to "Illegal wiretapping" of the persons mentioned in the media statements.

The National Special Intelligence Means Control Bureau is an independent state body and is the only one that controls the entire process of using special intelligence means in protecting the rights and freedoms of citizens against their illegal use. We are awaiting the results of the inspection, with a view to assessing the follow-up actions by virtue of the law.

I draw your attention to the fact that according to the provision of Art. 357 of the Penal Code, the disclosure of classified information, constituting a state secret is a serious intentional crime. I remind you that every Bulgarian citizen who has data or evidence of a crime or violation is publicly obliged under Art. 205 of the PPC to immediately notify a body of the pre-trial proceedings or another competent state body.

I would like to notice that the use of special intelligence means must be permitted by a judge. The applicants are exhaustively indicated in Art. 13 of the Special Intelligence Means Act and although the Prosecutor General is among them, he may request permission from the court to use and apply special intelligence means only to prevent a limited range of crimes, such as terrorism.

The leadership of the Prosecutor's Office calls again for cooperation between the institutions in order to combat crime. The dissemination of untruths and fake news, even more in violation of the law, by politically engaged persons, in addition to damaging the prestige of the institutions, also destroys the Bulgarian state system. Such conduct has the direct effect of threatening the rule of law and undermining the government of law and is in the interests of perpetrators only.

Оnce again we declare that we will continue to strongly oppose the attempts for the Prosecutor's Office of the Republic of Bulgaria to be used for political purposes and to be involved in the election race. We work and will continue to work only in the interest of Bulgarian citizens and society in strict compliance with the law.

Actions are currently being carried out on the territory of Sliven district with regard to the investigation on the pre-trial proceedings initiated by the Specialized Prosecutor's Office. A huge amount of heroin impregnated in marble was found and seized. There are detained foreign citizens. Additional information will be provided after the permission of the supervising prosecutor.