A joint investigation by ACF and Radio Free Europe revealed that several influential politicians and high-level public officials had acquired luxury properties at prices significantly below market rates. In addition, the transactions were highly unusual compared to standard business practices.
The investigation generated high levels of public interest and lead to multiple resignations – of the Minister of Justice, Tzetzka Tzacheva, the Deputy Minister of Sport, Vania Koleva, the Deputy Minister of Energy, Krasimir Parvanov, and Tzvetan Tzvetanov, who left the post Chairman of the parliamentary group of the ruling party GERB in March, and in May left all executive-level positions within the party itself.
Following the investigation, a number of media outlets used the Bulgarian Property Register (the main method employed by ACF and Radio Free Europe) to carry out property checks regarding other public officials. A new wave of resignations followed while the ethical and legal issues raised by Apartmentgate were discussed within the European Parliament elections campaign in May.
ACF filed reports with the National Revenue Agency (NRA) and the Public Prosecution (subsequently the prosecution asked the Commission for Counteracting Corruption and the Forfeiture of Illegally Acquired Property(CCCFIAP) to initiate proceedings). CCCFIAP had the task of investigating its own chairman, Plamen Georgiev. CCCFIAP ended the proceedings on 19 June, deciding no wrongdoing had occurred. Mr. Georgiev resigned at the end of July but was appointed Consul General in Valencia, Spain. ACF calls on all involved public institutions will act in a responsible and impartial manner.
Minister Tzetzka Tzacheva and Deputy Minister Vania Koleva Resign
Deputy Minister Krasimir Parvanov Resigns
Tzvetan Tzvetanov Leaves the Post Chairman of the Parliamentary Group of GERB
Mr. Tzvetanov kept the positions deputy chairman of GERB and chairman of the party's electoral campaigns committee.
Public Prosecution Announces Investigation into Plamen Georgiev, Director of the Anti-Corruption Commission.
ACF Notifies Two Parliamentary Committees Regarding Possible Violations by Plamen Georgiev
ACF Reports High-Ranking Officials to National Revenue Agency
The implicated individuals are: Tzvetan Tzvetanov, Tzetzka Tzacheva, Vania Koleva, Krasimir Parvanov, Veselin Bozhkov, Vezhdi Rashidov, and Plamen Georgiev.
MP Delian Dobrev Resigns
Tomi Nikolov, Deputy Governor of Sofia, Resigns
Alexander Manolev, Deputy Minister of Economy, Resigns
Roumen Porozhanov, Minister of Agriculture and Forestry, Resigns
National Revenue Agency Commences Proceedings, Following ACF Report
Anti-Corruption Commission Ends Conflict of Interest Proceedings
The Commission for Anti-Corruption and the Forfeiture of Illegally Acquired Property decided that none of the investigatied officials have committed violations. The commission did not refer the case to other public institutions. The sustained practice of formalistic and superficial investigations deepens the suspicions of political dependency of the commission.
Vladi Kalinov, Head of Building Control in Sofia Municipality, resigns
Mr. Kalinov resigned because of his questionable decision from 12 June when he pronounced the property of Anti-Corruption Commission Chairman Plamen Georgiev to be in line with all legal requirements.
Plamen Georgiew, Chairman of the Anti-Corruption Commission, Resigns
Days later, Mr. Georgiev was appointed as prosecutor at the Specialised Prosecution, while on 7 August, the Council of Ministers announced his appointment as Consul General of Bulgaria in Valencia, Spain.
Plamen Georgiev Withdraws His Appeal Against Municipal Authorities
This constitutes a de facto admission that there are illigal additions to Mr. Georgiev's apartment.
ACF Sends Formal Request to the National Revenue Agency
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