Reports, inventories and official requests to institutions with original signatures of investigators have been dumped in the garbage bins of Sofia Investigation Services – this is what scanned documents reveal. They were sent to Bivol’s editorial email address by the citizen who had collected them from the thrash in the evening of February 22.
Earlier in the same day, investigator Boyko Atanasov took a TV crew to the garbage bins and showed them many shredded documents. According to him, a group of investigators have worked all weekend long to destroy documents, right after he made scandalous revelations in an interview for Bivol on February 18.
The next day, February 23, Prosecutor General Sotir Tsatsarov visited the Sofia Investigation and told the media that the discarded documents were not evidence, but work copies of protocols.
“I saw in the media how our colleague Atanasov examines the thrash container before one of your colleagues … I instructed the Sofia City Prosecutor to immediately conduct a probe. At 8:30 am his deputies have carried out this probe. Their finding is firm – the shredded documents are work copies of protocols. No evidence has been destroyed whatsoever.”
According to Tsatsarov, the documents related to the scandalous case with the collapsed Corporate Commercial Bank (CCB) that were also discovered in the garbage are easily accessible from the commercial register, and their discarding was “organizational negligence, total nonsense and incompetence”. Then the media ignored the fact that
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The inspecting prosecutors have no way of knowing what has been discarded
The probe of the Sofia City Prosecutor’s Deputies has been carried out at 8:30 in the morning of February 23. The previous evening, after the TV broadcast, a vigilant citizen had picked from the thrash containers the bulk the shredded documents.
Among them, there are documents that cannot be found in the commercial register and represent an investigation secret. These include requests for information to the Interior Ministry and Customs on certain persons with Bulgarian and foreign citizenship crossing the Bulgarian border. Other documents reveal ongoing legal proceedings on a request for legal assistance received from a foreign “Royal Prosecutor’s Office” (probably the Spanish one) in connection with Syrian citizens who have visited Bulgaria. There is also a list of documents in the CCB case, created on February 20. It shows that CCB majority shareholder Tsvetan Vassilev will be summoned on June 20, 2016.
The documents contain ball-pen signatures of at least three investigators.
All this seriously shakes the thesis of Prosecutor General Tsatsarov that this was simply organizational negligence and copies of work protocols. There is no logical explanation why an investigator would sign a copy of a request intended for the Interior Ministry and then throw it in the thrash.
Furthermore, the prosecution cannot possibly hide and destroy all evidence of a likely crime in connection with the destruction of documents as such are kept in foreign prosecutor’s offices. The latter can, for example, confirm whether the Sofia Investigation had complied with the request for information on six Syrian nationals or whether the request ended in a trash container. The topic is particularly sensitive in the context of the migration crisis and the fight against international terrorism.
The documents we described so far are only those that have been ripped or crumbled. However, there is also a pending recovery of the shredded documents with already visible signatures and blue stamps that are only placed on originals.
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