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Bulgaria's ex-PM Borissov freed after corruption probe

After prosecutors failed with sufficient evidence to bring charges against him, Boyko Borissov, Bulgaria's former Prime Minister, was released from prison on Friday

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Bulgaria's ex-PM Borissov freed after corruption probe

Desislava Petrova, spokesperson for the prosecution, stated that the investigation's supervising prosecutors did not believe that a prolongation of detention was justified because of a lack of evidence. Therefore, bringing charges now would violate the law.

Petrova stated that there is nothing to stop the investigation from continuing and collecting sufficient evidence of indictment to alter this conclusion.

According to the Interior Ministry, Borissov had been detained for 24 hours during a nationwide operation by police that also targeted former officials.

Borissov (62), was taken into custody with Vladislav Goranov, former Finance Minister, and Sevdalina Arkaudova, Borissov’s media advisor, who were also released.

Borissov was detained by Menko Menkov, his lawyer. He stated that the official reason was "extortion." However, he added that it wasn't clear who, when, how and why.

"Brutal, horrible, they brought us back into communism. Last night, we had dinner together with the children. Both civilian and uniformed officers of police entered. "No charges - nothing," a tearful Borissov stated immediately after his release.

He added, "Next time they will kill me."

Assen Vassilev, the incumbent Finance Minister, stated Friday that authorities were investigating a tip from Vassil Bozhkov (an exiled businessman whose lucrative lottery company was nationalized in 2020). Financial inspectors gathered evidence from his tip about 556 million Leva (280 million Euros) that allegedly did not go into the state budget. This was under the watchful eye of Borissov, his financial minister.

Borissov was a founder member of the center-right GERB Party, which is currently in opposition.

All GERB lawmakers walked out from a session earlier Friday and joined protesters at the Parliament building in Bulgaria calling for Borissov to be released. They called for all citizens of Bulgaria to support democratic principles to join the protest.

Borissov, a former three-time prime Minister between 2009 and 2021 was forced to resign after a new party won the general election last year. It pledged to eradicate widespread corruption within the EU country.

Borissov was previously the subject of several corruption allegations during his tenure, but he has denied any wrongdoing. No charges have been brought against him.


 

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