That the formerly-ruling and now opposition Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria party, GERB, and the Bulgarian Socialist Party, BSP, are just two faces of one same character is not a mantra. This is the conclusion of numerous analyzes, facts and proven circumstances. But there are also examples that are irrefutable litmus test of truth. One of the most typical is the so-called scandal “Misho The Beer.” We will not describe its background, because everyone in Bulgaria knows it. What our society cares about to this day is: Has former Prime Minister Boyko Borisov been involved in a crime, and has he prevented a Customs inspection in committing abuse of power? The main witnesses in this unprecedented case passed away immediately after the disclosure of the affair. Mihail Mihov died suddenly in a room in the Pravets luxury hotel of a friend of Borisov – Valentin Zlatev. From “natural causes,” of course. The man suffered a heart attack while he lay in bed. A little later, his wife quickly passed away – also from “natural causes.”
The prosecution declared that Borisov cannot be probed in pre-trial proceedings, because his phone conversations with then Customs Head, Vanyo Tanov, did not represent a crime. Because a Customs inspection has been done after all and it established violations in the beer factory in the town of Mezdra. Protocols with conclusions and a “reporting memorandum” have been compiled in the case, and have been attached to the archives of the mobile Customs agents group. According to official statements of judicial authorities, Boyko Borisov had not been involved in indictable offense. However, not because he pressured Customs agents not do their job, but because these same Customs agents had not succumbed to the “pressure” of the Prime Minister and despite his instructions to get out of the of the beer factory, they have been conscientious enough to carry out their duty.
For nearly 3 years now, the Bulgarian public has no reliable information if Boyko Borisov has committed abuse of power. This is definitely imposed by an overriding public interest because the conversations with Tanov, recorded with Special Surveillance Devices, SRS, reveal one of the most vicious aspects of Bulgarian political corruption and backstage deals. These are the traits that cause the explosive growth of intolerance against our political class, and Bulgaria to be pinned at the top of ratings in corruption and merger of organized crime with power. And the whole mystery can be exposed through access to the protocols from the Customs probe. For some strange reason, however, these protocols are stubbornly concealed by the Customs Agency. Bivol was the only one to file a lawsuit against the Agency for withholding this information from the public when there is an overriding common interest.
After several attempts of the State to stop the case, it was finally launched. We won at first instance in the Sofia Administrative Court. The magistrates categorically confirmed our arguments that the Customs Agency violated the Access to Public Information Act and the protocols from the “fatal” probe must be provided to the media and the Customs Agency should pay all Court proceedings costs. However, Vanyo Tanov decided to continue to spend taxpayers’ money in order to provide cover-up, for as long as possible, for his crime patron. This is understandable in terms of mutual dependencies, party allegiance and attempts to conceal the murky dealings before the last election. Currently, the case is in the Supreme Administrative Court and we are awaiting a decision.
Bivol also waited patiently for a change in the management of the Customs Agency. We told ourselves: “Now there is no way that the new rulers will refuse to provide us with the protocol or to declare it is missing, which would reveal the long anticipated truth about this massive scandal, probably concealed at the cost of two lives!” After the “man” of the new government of the “Three-Way Coalition” took over the institution, our media proceeded to an active correspondence with them. In several letters and phone calls, we stated that we wanted the protocol of the inspections held on March 12 and 13, 2010, in the brewery “Ledenika” in the town of Mezdra, owned by “Bulbrew” LTD. Our media request was again rejected. Our advice to dismiss the case we have filed, and the Customs Agency to withdraw its appeal complaint in the Supreme Administrative Court, was also neglected.
What is the conclusion? The new people of Stanishev and BSP also persistently and firmly defend the dirty deeds of GERB leader and former Prime Minister Boyko Borisov, as did his servant Tanev! Access to this particular document is the only way to shed light on whether there was a Customs probe, how it was held, did it end, how it has been concluded, and what was found in reality etc. The new leadership of the Customs Agency actually demonstrates absolute unity and even sympathy for the crimes committed by predecessors in the rule of the country. We can hardly doubt the loyalty of the current head of this institution, Kiril Zhelev, who replaced Tanov, to his party stewards. Here’s what we wrote about him in a media reference on the occasion of his appointment: “His public image is of a kind and gentle man who is loyal to the party.”
The news that the prosecution has summoned Borisov for questioning in “Misho The Beer” case has been making headlines since the morning of October 17. This announcement is part of the gigantic manipulation that takes place in front of our infantile nation that still thinks these people could be a corrective and alternative to the others. No they are not; they are the same because they are together, both in the criminal looting of our national resources, and in the concealment of these crimes. The protocol is gone. They refuse to provide it – GERB, even less BSP. And “Misho The Beer” is gone. Except that we are still hear to ask uncomfortable questions; to uncover the truth and tear with our “buffalo” horns the curtains of the dirty political theater staged by the mafia before the very eyes of our entire society.
The cassation proceedings in the Customs Agency’s appeal to the Administrative Court – Sofia are scheduled in the Supreme Administrative Court for November 26. The case is public. You can make donations for attorney costs here.
Articles of Bivol about this case:
The Rule of the Sofia Administrative Court to Provide the Protocol from the Customs Probe in the Brewery of “Misho The Beer”
This post is also available in: Bulgarian