Military Prosecutor’s Office Is Probing Bulgarian Defense Ministry

February 26 is the deadline for Minister Nenchev to submit all public procurement documents from January 1, 2014, until today
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All contracts of the Ministry of Defense are subject to a probe by the military prosecutor, according to an order of Prosecutor Spas Iliev which Bivol examined.

The probe has been initiated following a tipoff that describes “the existence of a corrupt environment and preparations for the conclusion of detrimental deals in the Ministry of Defense”.

The prosecution has requested all documentation for all procurement procedures – their announcements, conduction, contracts and follow-up control, including all financial records of contracted procedures.

It is clear that the probe is not exclusively focused on the term in office of Minister Nenchev as the requested documents relate to the period between January 1, 2014, and February 19, 2016.

Prosecutors are also interested in outstanding procedures, requesting they be presented in a separate list to include information whether the term of certain contracts has been extended and submission of relevant documents.

The documents specified in the order relate primarily to Directorate General (DG) “Acquisitions in Defense” (former DGs “Infrastructure of Defense” and “Investments in Defense”), but also to the other departments at the Ministry of Defense.

The efficiency of the military prosecutors and the deadlines that they have set are impressive. The order is dated February 19 and the probe has started after a tipoff that was received on February 16. Minister Nikolay Nenchev is given a deadline of 2 p.m. on February 26, 2016, to provide all requested documents in the Military Prosecutor’s Office.

MoD refused to comment

Bivol sent to the press office of the Ministry of Defense (MoD) questions about the order, but the response was that all questions should be asked under the Access to Public Information Act (APIA), which means that in the best case scenario a response can be expected in 14 days.

The military prosecutors probe precedes by a few days the full examination of all contracts in the ministries announced by Prime Minister Borisov. These checks must be carried out by the inspectors at the respective institutions. In the case of the MoD, this cannot happen because all documentation has been already requested by the prosecution.

It became clear on Friday, February 26, that the Prime Minister has delayed the purchase of new jet fighter by “several years” despite the slated in the budget for 2016 targeted funding for the first installment in the deal. Nenchev was planning to sign a contract for the acquisition of a new type of jet fighter by the end of the year. This had to be the biggest “defense acquisition” for years to come.



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