21 July 2021

PRESS RELEASE

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In connection with the pre-trial proceedings initiated on 13 July 2020, instituted for a crime under Chapter One of the Criminal Code, as well as for an organized criminal group, sufficient evidence has been gathered so far within the meaning of Article 219, paragraph 1 of the Penal Procedure Code, that the leader of the group is the person V.B. The same has initiated criminal offence for personal interest. Evidence indicates that this is a group, which goal is to cause moderate bodily injury, illegal destruction and damage to somebody else’s property, causing arson and possession of explosives without adequate authorisation.

On 14 July 2020, with the permission of the supervising prosecutor in the case, the Specialized Prosecutor's Office published conversations of the person V.B. with other persons, acquired by applied special intelligence means in relation to the same one.

In order to establish the facts and circumstances of the pre-trial proceedings, numerous searches and seizures were carried out, а great number persons were identified and questioned as witnesses; video recordings have been duly requested by media representatives and included in the case file; computer-technical expertises of video-recordings have been appointed in order to identify the persons, perpetrators of the provocative and hooligan actions and the damages caused by the same ones to citizens and somebody else’s property. Information has been requested from all law enforcement authorities related to the events in the summer and autumn of 2020.

The evidence gathered so far indicates that the leader of the group – V.B. has also provided financing of the criminal offence. The Bulgarian businessman hiding in Dubai, UAE has been brought to justice with 18 other charges, as a leader and organizer of an organized criminal group with the participation of Bulgarian citizens.

To implement their criminal plan, under the leadership of V.B., the participants in the group had the task through hooliganism and creating conditions for escalation of tensions during the peaceful civil protests on the territory of Atanas Burov Square in Sofia, to create a potential danger to the life and health of the protesters.

In the context of the criminal act, in order to cover up their selfish purpose, the participants in the group used the constitutionally established right of every Bulgarian citizen, namely the right specified in Article 43 (1) of the Constitution - “Citizens have the right to assemble peacefully and unarmed at meetings and demonstrations".

In the course of the investigation, a number of methods have been applied aimed at establishing the objective truth, the complicity of specific persons in the criminal act, as well as identifying the leader of the group and the way it functions.

In this regard, and also with a view to protecting the lives and health of citizens, the need for a number of special intelligence means has been used. As a result of their exploitation, more than 50 physical evidence have been gathered.

The special intelligence means were applied to persons for whom there were data for connection with the criminal act.

Some of the actions of the investigation have also contributed to the prevention of excessive escalation of tensions, the infliction of significantly more serious damage to citizens and the protection of the foundations of the state.

Based on the findings so far, several persons have been brought in as defendants, including V.B. as a leader and organizer of a group for the above purpose.

An extradition request has been sent to the competent authorities of the UAE through the Ministry of Justice.

In the occasion of the new accusation brought in connection with the present pre-trial proceedings, after providing of materials of the case through the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Bulgaria a new request for extradition of the person V.B. has been sent.