On July 14, 2016, a huge scandal erupted in the SJC over publications of Bivol revealing that the Head of SJC Ethics Committee Yassen Todorov had attended a dinner in the Black Sea town of Pomorie, held in a restaurant, owned by an organized crime boss.
Amidst the scandal, filled with denials and mutual accusations, the SJC plenum finally refused to initiate a probe into the facts exposed in the publications.
The said ringleader, Plamen Petkov, a former partner of Bai Mile – the late boss of one of the two alleged main crime groups in the 1990s – and currently the chief of Bozhidar “The Goat (or “The Cow”) Kuzmanov, personally took care of the perfect organization of the prosecutor-police party, commissioned by prosecutor Radost Boshnakova in restaurant “24” in Pomorie on June 3, 2016. This happened just days before Kuzmanov and another notorious criminal, Dimitar “Mityo The Eyes” Zhelyazkov staged a bloody clash in the country’s largest summer resort Sunny Beach.
The above emerges from a comment on Facebook by Dobromir Popov, who attended the party with a large company. The comment is dated June 5 and reads as follows:
“On June 3, 2016, a large company of about 35 people visited as a group the restaurant-club “24” on the occasion of a private party. We express our gratitude to the Executive Director Mr. Plamen Petkov, the Manager Georgi Dragnev for the perfect organization and to all employees who contributed to our enjoyment. The combination of cozy atmosphere, delicious cuisine with great imagination and diversity, excellent entertainment and professional service rank this place among the top five best places for large party celebrations in the Burgas Region.”
This fact refutes the words of SJC member, Yuliana Nikolova, who announced that the Council has conducted a probe “in the most informal way” and found that “there was no stranger with suspicious activity at the party”.
It turns out that Plamen Petkov was present and appeared before the guests in his capacity of Executive Director. He might have been even applauded for the “perfect organization” by the drunken magistrates, police officials and other local authorities, including SJC member Yassen Todorov and the Chief Secretary of the Interior Ministry Georgi Kolev.
In order to be able to attend the party, Georgi Kostov and Yassen Todorov were even sent on business trips to the area, showed replies from the Interior Ministry and the SJC after an inquiry of Bivol under the Access to Public Information Act (APIA).
Nevertheless, the SJC members voted by 20 against 3 not to verify the facts, as proposed by Kalin Kalpakchiev and Sonya Naydenova. The tabled proposal was motivated with the desire “to establish the veracity of the facts and the allegations and to protect and defend the image of the concerned magistrate and the justice system”.
Eventually, the image of the said magistrate not only was not protected, but was even tarnished further by the embarrassing discussion that turned into a brawl marred by insults and personal attacks.
What are the facts and who is afraid of them?
The probe that the SJC refused to conduct would shed light on some very unpleasant findings, namely:
– Plamen Petkov is the real owner of restaurant “24” in Pomorie, where prosecutor Boshnakova organized a dinner to celebrate her promotion as District Attorney. This has already been formally established by Bivol;
– In the past Plamen Petkov had business partnerships with notorious gangsters as Bai Mile;
– Plamen Petkov and Bozhidar Kuzmanov are listed together in several police files over criminal offenses;
– Individuals arrested in connection with the shootout in Sunny Beach are employees of the company of Plamen Petkov, according to the employment benefits records;
According to Prosecutor General Sotir Tsatsarov’s own words, he was also invited to celebrate with Boshnakova as was Justice Minister Ekaterina Zaharieva. Tsatsarov inquired who was going to attend, even talked to Boshnakova to find out the latter, and she had assured him that she would pay the bill. Ultimately, however, he decided to not attend because as a rule “he would not participate in such gatherings”.
This is obviously a contradiction from a logical viewpoint. There is no reason for Tsatsarov to seek information about the guest list and who will pay the bill if he does not generally attend such gatherings. On the other hand, when the Prosecutor General collected this information, it is unlikely that he failed to notice the long rap sheet of the “perfect organizer” Plamen Petkov.
Unlike those vested with power, Bivol will continue to investigate all facts and circumstances to establish whether Prosecutor Radost Boshnakova (known on social networks by the juicy nickname “shanelmodemoiselle“) organized the party in Plamen Petkov’s restaurant by coincidence or on purpose.
This post is also available in: Bulgarian