Stanimir Florov, former Chief of the Main Directorate for Combatting Organized Crime (GDBOB) admits that he has been a friend for 30 years and very close to the murdered businessman from the city of Veliko Tarnovo, Petar Hristov.

This is the first, albeit not public, acknowledgement of Petar Hristov’s close relations over the years with people in power. So far, in their comments on the execution style murder in Sofia of their sponsor, the ruling party politicians have either dodged or downplayed questions about his closeness to their Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria party, GERB.

In addition, it seems that this closeness had provided protection for Hristov’s business. At the time when Florov led the GDBOP, Peter Hristov had been audited and it had been established that everything with his business had been “very clean” since 1996.

All this transpires from a recording of a conversation between the former head of the GDBOP and journalist Katya Ilieva. Florov called Ilieva after her recent participation in the TV evening show “Slavi’s Show”, of host Slavi Trifonov, where she criticized the capacity of the Interior Ministry to find Peter Hristov’s assassin and commented on the operations against the organized crime groups “The Killers” and “The Impudent”. Hristov had taken an informant from the underground to the Interior Ministry, helping to detain members of the latter group, she said.

In the same conversation, Florov states bluntly that the Interior Ministry’s system is not functioning and he is very well aware of this fact. What is more, Florov explains that there is no likelihood at all that it will start functioning. Such a statement sounds shocking against the backdrop of Prime Minister Boyko Borisov and former Interior Minister and second in command in the ruling GERB, Tsvetan Tsvetanov bragging some years ago that their government had been successful in the fight against organized crime in the country.

The notorious inefficiency of Bulgarian police and their failure to solve even one contract murder case since the fall of the Communist regime are obvious signs of the malfunctioning system of the Interior Ministry. However, this did not prevent the Prime Minister from raising once again the salaries of the police officers and giving the Ministry another BGN 100 million from the budget against the backdrop of the tragic state of the healthcare and education sectors. Bivol’s revelations of police officers who work as thugs in their spare time and of an organized crime group dealing with illegal drugs, theft, racketeering, and wet works with links to high-ranking officials at the Interior Ministry did not cause any reaction by the authorities.

Bivol is urging foreign politicians and observers to pay attention to the confessions (though laced with profanities) about inefficient police work by high-ranking Interior Ministry officials such as Florov.

Florov’s words also include his views on the country’s state of affairs, which he describes with the following: “Everything is dominated by one thing – dough. You shell it out – everything is OK; you don’t shell it out – nothing is OK.”

Questioned by Katya Ilieva on a possible conflict of interest over his GDBOP post and the audit of the business of his long-time friend, Florov denied having had personal relations with the businessman, adding that they had become friends after the audit and refuting his own words.

In addition, Katya Ilieva was subjected to an attack with vulgarities and threats.

Bivol’s Director Assen Yordanov, who also took part in the TV show, became an unintended witness of the verbal assault.

FrogNews, where Katya Ilieva works, said they had alerted the Prosecutor General about threats.

 

Transcript*:

Stanimir Florov: Are you not you ashamed, Katya, I am asking you, are you not ashamed, you, Katya?

Katya Ilieva: Whose…

Stanimir Florov: When you do not know what happened. You do not know this man. You’ve seen him only once. I’m asking you, are you not ashamed to tell such nonsense.

Katya Ilieva: What nonsense did I tell?

Stanimir Florov: So, you can say such things, with such conviction about someone when you know them. When you are so close to them as I was close to him (the murdered businessman – editor’s note). But my closeness with him dates from military school. This was 30 years ago… Our relationship has always been sincere and friendly. And when he did that, he did it to make everything OK.

The Interior Ministry system is not functioning, but we should not admit it

Stanimir Florov: And for me to say, for example, the system is not working. Or, as you did say that the system is not working, so the system started working? Or what and so what?

Katia Ilieva: And the system does not work. And the system does not work. You know it very well, don’t you?

Stanimir Florov: Well yes, I know it too. So what?

Katya Ilieva: And? What? Keep quiet?

Stanimir Florov: And if you don’t keep quiet, what will happen?

Katya Ilieva: We should tell things the way they are…

Stanimir Florov: And did it start working? Is anything happening?

On the country’s state of affairs

Stanimir Florov: Tragedy, we are tragic; this is why the situation in our country is such.  Because…

Katya Ilieva: Because of the journalists?

Stanimir Florov: …and state structures and journalism, everything is acting on orders. Everything moves and works for certain purposes, somebody says something, somebody does something, and so on.

It sucks, you know what that means? We suck.

Katya Ilieva: Well, aren’t you the man… Petar Hristov was audited during Florov’s time and everything was clean.

Stanimir Florov: Well, just to ask you something, do you know that Peter Hristov was audited as early as 1996 and everything is OK with him? And do you know when Petar Hristov’s audit was done?

Katia Ilieva: You said it, in 1996.

Stanimir Florov: Excuse me?

Katia Ilieva: You, yourself, said in 1996

Stanimir Florov: It was in 1996. And do you know at what time this was done?

Katya Ilieva: What was done?

Stanimir Florov: At this time. When I was director.

Katia Ilieva: Did you have a personal relationship with him? What is this audit?

Stanimir Florov: What do you mean as a personal relationship? You could have been in a personal relationship with someone else. I have not been in a personal relationship with him.

Katya Ilieva: With whom? You, yourself, said that you were in a personal relationship with Petar Hristov.

I have not been in a personal relationship; you have been in a personal relationship with the one who has been giving you this information. I have no personal relationship with anyone.

Katya Ilieva: You told me, yourself….

Do you understand what I’m telling you or you do not understand me?

You, yourself, said that you had a personal relationship with Petar Hristov; you said that you were friends.

Stanimir Florov: Well, in a personal relationship, who do you think I am, some f*ggot?

Katya Ilieva: And what kind of audit have you done when you were in a personal relationship, you were friends. Is not this…

Stanimir Florov: Who was friends with Petar?

Katya Ilieva: You. You said it yourself.

Stanimir Florov: I was friends with Petar, but I became friends with him later.

Katya Ilieva: Weren’t you friends since military school?

Stanimir Florov: We knew each other. That means we knew each other, not that we were friends.

*Vulgarities and comments by Florov that are of no public interest have been deleted from the recording…

 

***

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