A comment from Arben Havalyov, regarding the publication about his photos with the Chief Secretary of the Interior Ministry, Svetlozar Lazarov, appeared yesterday on Bivol’s page in the social network Facebook.
“I think you are entertaining the rabble that has nothing to do all day… I am proud of myself; I am proud that I have friends, friends that some people will never have,” says with pathos the person accused of tax crimes and VAT draining, using the name Anton Dragomirov Belev.
After the rabble of fans of Bivol’s page reacted indignantly, Havalyov become more aggressive: “You knees might get weaker. You better find some relief, so that your enthusiasm slows down a bit. I have some free time currently, and I can have some fun with you,” the businessman got enraged. He accused the media of “voyeurism” in his profile, although the photos that we published were visible to all and with public access.
Havalyov’s profile is still open for everyone. Among the “friends that some people will never have”, one can also see former President Georgi Parvanov AKA Gotze (his codename as agent of the former Communist State Security, DS), who is shaking hands with Havalyov and is handing him something.
According to the archives of “168 Hours” weekly, quoted by Bulgarian independent journalist Ivo Indzhev, the case involves a competition for an international realistic painting exhibition “Balkan Artists” 2004. The initiative was supported by the Presidency, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Culture. There, the President has been rewarding artists with the money of Dogan’s buttler, Havalyov. (It became clear in 2008 that Havalyov and his sister are the formal owners of the super luxurious and expensive hotel complex in the resort village of Ribaritsa, “Casa Domini”, known as the local seraglio of Ahmed Dogan, the honorary lifetime Chairman of the party largely representing the Turkish minority in Bulgaria – Movement for Rights and Freedoms, DPS.)
Prosecutors, however, established that in the period 2000-2004, Havalyov has committed tax fraud, for which he is now charged. Thus, it appears that the prize awarded by Georgi Parvanov came from the drained VAT.
Svetlozar Lazarov commented for the online information agency Dnevnik that the photo “probably aims at discrediting him” and that no sensation will come out of it. He claimed that he was present at that particular event with the President.
“I guess this is aims at discrediting me. And it is not appropriate to comment on slander. But now, as I recall, some 10 years ago that person, together with Rangel Valchanov, was organizing an exhibition of paintings, which included all the Balkan countries and was featuring artists from all over the Balkan Peninsula. Part of the political elite, the cultural elite and the diplomatic corps was also present – that is what I remember. In fact, I was present at this meeting, but I can tell you that no sensation will come out of it.”
Dnevnik reminds that at that time Lazarov was an intelligence officer with the National Security Services (NSS).
Speaking on Nova TV on Tuesday, Interior Minister Vuchkov called on Lazarov explain in detail about the photos picturing him on the same restaurant table with Havalyov.
This post is also available in: Bulgarian