Judge’s Son Acquires 2 Apartments in Resort Town for Pocket Change

Atanas Tchobanov

Vary Belyov had been only 20 years old when he acquired two apartments in a development between the Bulgarian winter resort towns of Razlog and Bansko for a modest amount. The price of the two homes in an attractive location overlooking the mountain was just BGN 10,923. Vary is the son of Katya Belyova, a judge in the District Court in the southwestern city of Blagoevgrad, who in 2016 was reelected by the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) as the Administrative President of the Court. The company that sold the apartments is owned by individuals who are involved in a scandalous case, “randomly allocated” by Katya Belyova, herself, eight times… to herself.

Very foul story

Deutsche Welle Bulgaria told the story of this case as early as 2016. It is about stealing expensive property without paying a penny, as the publication claims. Capital weekly also described the scheme. The main protagonists are the former spouses Maria Kalaydzhieva and Kalin Kalaydzhiev. Maria, through the company “Maria Kalaidzhieva”, has established three mortgages to cover her husband Kalin’s obligations from the company K & K Properties to Eurobank and United Bulgarian Bank (UBB). The companies are clearly connected.

In 2012, the repayments on the loan had stopped. The bank began a procedure to take the properties and obtained a writ of execution. Meanwhile, a bankruptcy case against “Maria Kalaidzhieva” was filed in the District Court, which was taken under personal control by Katya Belyova. She “randomly” distributed it eight times in order for it not to be given to another judge and so that she presided it, herself. Despite a number of procedural violations, the Inspectorate at the SJC decided that everything with the case had been fine.

Glaring conflict of interest

Belyova has declared, herself, her son’s acquisition in a statement to the SJC at the time of her election as President of the Blagoevgrad District Court in 2016. However, Kalin Kalaydzhiev (through two other companies) is a co-owner of the company, which sold the two apartments at an apparently unrealistic price, while Maria Kalaydzhieva is its Managing Director. As mentioned above, both are sides in the case presided by Belyova.

Despite the obvious conflict of interest, the judge has not withdrawn from the case and has not declared a conflict of interest. As a reward, she was reelected by the majority in the SJC Judge’s College for a second term as President of the District Court. Her character evidence, drawn up by the Ethics Committee of the SJC reads the following: “Judge Belyova is honest and with high morals. There are no actions that might smear the magistrate’s honorable name. Independent and impartial, with an innate sense of justice. There is no information in print and electronic media that puts into question the ethical qualities of Katya Belyova.”

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