“When it doesn’t work the standard way”: a former prime minister’s adviser and a lamb inside the Specialized Judiciary 

The Anti-Corruption Fund (ACF) published today the third episode of its new investigation, “LIST OF QUICK CONTROL: The story of Veselin Denkov and the Specialized Judiciary.”

 

In this episode of the investigation, secret recordings are heard with allegations of:

– interference by a member of the executive branch – the then Prime Minister Boyko Borissov – in the judiciary and the Commission for Combating Corruption and Confiscation of Illegally Acquired Property;

– perjury by protected witnesses in the case against Veselin Denkov;

– interference by the Prosecutor General Ivan Geshev in the work of the specialized courts;

– interference by the administrative head of the Appellate Specialized Court in the work of the court panels in specific cases;

– multiple ethical violations.

 

The “List of Quick Control” investigation traces the story of Veselin Denkov, owner of popular Sofia restaurants, detained in September 2020 on charges of participating in an organized criminal group for usury.

 

The first two parts of the investigation contain records made over several months, in which Veselin Denkov was under the most severe measure of restraint – detention. The most striking of the episodes so far is the conversation with two recommended consultants about the possible price (at least 100 thousand euros) of changing Denkov’s remand measure to a lighter one.

 

The third part, published today, contains secret recordings, which also refer to meetings and talks on the Denkov case of the former Prime Minister’s Adviser Yane Yanev with the chairman of the Commission for Combating Corruption and former Prosecutor General Sotir Tsatsarov. In addition to Tsatsarov, Yanev spoke with at least two judges from the Specialized criminal court.

 

The primary source for the meetings is the account of Yanev himself, and the Commission for Combating Corruption refused to comment on the topic. It is important to remember that some of the information presented here is easy to verify, and it can become clear whether it is reliable relatively quickly.

 

Despite the refusal to comment, according to ACF sources, in the last two weeks, the Commission for Combating Corruption is checking the statements made in the first two parts of the investigation into the case of Veselin Denkov. At least seven people were summoned during the inspection, all of them taking part in the recorded conversations.

 

“What is valuable in these recordings is the elucidation of the mechanisms by which lobbying takes place, the information on how key appointments were actually made in the judiciary, and whether principles written on paper such as separation of powers and independence of the courts are actually observed,” commented the author of the investigation Nikolay Staykov.

 

“The conclusions we can draw from the recorded conversations are not very optimistic – even if only part of what was said is true, this is a reason for a serious inspection by the Prosecutor’s Office, the Supreme Judicial Council, and the SJC’s Inspectorate,” the ACF legal team commented further.

 

The presented episode “When it doesn’t work the standard way” is the third part of the investigation, “LIST OF QUICK CONTROL: The story of Veselin Denkov and the Specialized Judiciary.”

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