A newly-published leaked recording reveals that the former head of SCC Vladimira Yaneva has turned for help to businessman Alexander Staliyski to intercede on her behalf with Prime Minister Boyko Borisov, but he had refused. Meanwhile, Staliyski told Yaneva that he had taken “Rubin”. This is a glass factory that was owned by banker Tsvetan Vassilev, but after the collapse of his Corporate Commercial Bank (CCB), it was acquired through a loan assignment by a newly created company. Staliyski is not mentioned by name in this fragment of the conversation, but it is a known fact that he took over the glass factory “Rubin” through dummies and shell companies because of his huge deposits in the failed CCB. His close family friendship with the Prime Minister is also publicly known.
The voice of the unknown (so far) man is heard in this recording as well. He is precisely the one announcing at the beginning of the recording the following: “He took Rubin. So, he has settled his bills.” On her part, Yaneva confirms that she was informed about this and that “he” told her the above. But then she states that the answer to her request for interceding with Borisov has been: “He says he wants to meet with you and to reach an agreement with you, and I cannot negotiate with him, sorry. After you talk to him, I can push him later about something then, but I told you, you need to have you own talks.” The other former judge – Chenalova – chimes in here with the question: “Well, why wouldn’t you go and talk to him?” To which Yaneva responds with pure simplicity: “Cuz I do not want to.”
Why Yaneva did not want to meet in person and talk about her problem with the Prime Minister and preferred the interceding of various parties and possibly short text messages and Viber communication remains a mystery. What had deterred the then-boss of the biggest court in Bulgaria from such contact?
It emerged already that the prosecution is looking to establish the identity of the man from the recordings and find out whether Special Surveillance Devices (SSDs) have been used on him. Conversations published earlier showed that he is someone way too influential. He was consulted for the editing of a report that Boyko Rashkov, Chief of the National Bureau for SSDs Control, had to submit to Brussels and for deciding “what to submit and what not to submit”. He also passed to Yaneva a request for “the withdrawal of the one in the case of Ivo Datchev”.
Previous conversations revealed that Borisov ordered Prosecutor General Sotir Tsatsarov to “finish” Yaneva, but then gave her hope that she could get away and even offered her to “take a walk in the park” together. The Prime Minister instructed “his man” in the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) Dimitar Uzunov and sent an emissary to the Chief of the SJC Ethics Commission, Yasen Todorov, to tell him to “not touch” Yaneva. Within a week, however, a twist happened. Gone “crazy” because of his conviction and court verdict, the former family friend of Yaneva – “Ceco” (Tsvetan Tsvetanov, then Interior Minister and currently still Deputy Chairman of Borisov’s Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria party, GERB – editor’s note), “savagely pressured” Borisov, who in turn pressured Sotir Tsatsarov. Thus, Yaneva “was finished” despite a “conspiracy” plot of some SJC members masterminded by the Head of the Supreme Administrative Court, Georgi Kolev.
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This is not the first time Staliyski’s name has been tangled in secretly recorded conversations. In the so-called Bankiya scandal, (the Sofia suburb where Borisov lives as the recordings were made in his home – editor’s note) former GERB Agriculture Minister Miroslav Naydenov explained how “Alex” has taken to him the then-Chief Operational Officer of Standard daily, Boyan Tomov, (“Alex’s fag”, as Naydenov said) and they “agreed” on how to allocate the money for media advertisement of the State Fund “Agriculture”.
Staliyski and his partner in life and business, Violetta Sechkova, reassigned their multimillion deposits in CCB to the shell company “Capital Investment”, which subsequently reassigned the debt of “Rubin” to CCB. 20.7 million Bulgarian levs went for this assignment. An additional 8.7 million Bulgarian levs went for another assignment for the controlled by controversial lawmaker, Deliyan Peevski, company “Sibole Bulgaria”, which used them to pay off its debt to CCB. All this is described in detail in the publications of financial journalist Miroslav Ivanov and in the newspaper Capital.
We remind that at the time of the closing of the bank on June 20, 2014, Alexander Staliyski had in it deposits in the amount of 20,267,593.00 levs and 2,510 euros, and Violetta Sechkova – 10 143 336.00 levs and 3,319 euro. Sechkova managed to transfer on June 19 3,499,987 levs, but the transfer ordered for June 20 for the remaining amount was rejected. Staliyski also made an unsuccessful attempt to transfer 20,266,000 lev on June 20, 2014.
As an analysis of Bivol, published in the midst of scandal with the loan assignments, showed – when someone had “taken” an attractive asset through an assignment of a deposit in CCB, someone else necessarily turned into a loser – the taxpayers who have paid for the damages with a huge State loan.
The penultimate operation for the “taking of Rubin” happened on January 26, when part of the assets of the glass factory “Rubin” were transferred to “Rubin Property”, created with assets of “Capital Investment”.
The acquisition of “Rubin” occurred a month before the conversations between Yaneva and Chenalova, which are dated February 19. The takeover was finalized in March, when all assets of the factory passed to “Rubin Property”.
The State lost tens of millions in real assets of the glass factory in Pleven over the loan assignments and the “proxy” companies. This affair and other similar CCB loan assignments, detrimental to the public interest, are not being investigated by the prosecution.
“A friendship that shows that not everything in life is politics”
This is how architect Georgiy Stanishev, brother of former Bulgarian Prime Minister and current leader of the Party of European Socialists (PES), Sergey Stanishev, assessed the friendship of their father with the father of Alexander Staliyski. The Stanishev brothers’ father was a senior apparatchik during the communist regime, and Alexander Staliyski Senior was Defense Minister in the right-wing government of Philip Dimitrov after the fall of the regime.
However, both friendship and business interests connect Alexander Staliyski Jr and Prime Minister Boyko Borisov. Their closeness became known from media publications even before Borisov’s first term in office as Prime Minister. When he was Mayor of Sofia, the GERB leader introduced to his “cards play pal” Staliyski fashion model Violetta Sechkova and they later married.
Staliyski’s name has also popped up in connection with the so-called “Tomcats” group of people close to Borisov, having common business and lobbyist interests.
Staliyski’s initials further emerged in the correspondence between attorney Angelov and banker Tsvetan Vassilev, examining the details in the scheme for the acquisition of Bulgartabac. The letter and the schemes were published in the blog of Miroslav Ivanov. According to them, there are three “Tens” in the ownership of offshore companies that bought Bulgartabac with money of unknown origin – three offshore companies, each with 10% stake in Livero Establishment. A few months ago Bivol published a letter sent to the US Embassy in Sofia, listing Boyko Borisov, Alexander Staliyski and Ahmed Dogan (leader of the party largely representing Bulgarian Muslims, Movement for Rights and Freedoms, MRF – editor’s note) as the real owners of the three offshore companies.
From 2009 to 2012, Violetta Sechkova, who is a journalist and producer of lifestyle shows, was on the Board of Directors and co-owner of the infamous company “No Frame Media”. In TV7, under the management of journalist and later politician Nikolay Barekov, “No Frame Media” had almost exclusive rights to produce the external production of the television station, generously funded by CCB. These Barekov-style “producer contracts” can probably explain the wealth amassed by Sechkova and Staliyski.
On paper, Alexander Staliyski Jr only owns the company ASKOM – 72 – Alexander Staliyski ET and is on the Board of Directors of the company “Kalamitsa”. The origin of his 20 million levs remains unclear. And no one, the National Revenue Agency (NRA) nor the financial police have shown any interest in them and in Staliyski’s business allowing him to earn such huge sums.
According to recent public statements of lawyer Konstantin Simeonov, engaged in the affairs of Tsvetan Vassilev, Staliyski worked not only with Borisov, but with Deliyan Peevski and laundered money of both GERB and MRF.
Vladimira Yaneva – VYA
Judge Roumyana Chenalova – RCH
Man (male voice) – M
M: He took Rubin, the glass factory.
VYA: I know that he had taken it. He told me.
M: So, he has settled his bills.
VYA: However, he says “he wants to meet with you and to reach an agreement with you, and I cannot negotiate with him, sorry”.
VYA: After you talk to him, I can push him later about something then, but I told you, you need to “have you own talks”.
RCH: Well, why wouldn’t you go and talk to him?
VYA: Cuz I do not want to.
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