New Allegations of ‘Special Prosecutor’s Squad’ Emerge

Dimitar Stoyanov

Radiаna Abdulova, investigator at the Sofia Investigative Services (SIS), told Bivol that she had been part of a “retaliatory squad” to investigate politicians and senior officials. Two years ago, her colleague, investigator Boyko Atanassov, revealed in a series of interviews (see here, here and here) that the Sofia City Prosecutor’s Office had set a “special squad” to conduct sensitive investigations against politicians, reporting directly to Prosecutor General Sotir Tsatsarov. The results of the investigations had been used to blackmail and control certain people or to “hush” some deeds. The Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) ordered a probe into Atanassov’s allegations, but it did not find anything wrong.

It turns out now that the investigators, themselves, had been subject to special surveillance devices (SSDs) to gather sensitive information on their investigations and to exert pressure on them, according to Abdulova’s story.

As FrogNews reported, investigator Radiana Abdulova had been wiretapped and tracked illegally in the course of five years. This information emerged after she filed a complaint with the Sofia City Court for more than 300 days of illegal wiretapping and tracking, claiming BGN 210,000 in non-pecuniary damages. The complaint also includes data from the Bureau for SSDs Control from 2016, when the service was still headed by Boyko Rashkov.

Between 2011 and 2014, unlawful SSDs had been applied against Abdulova at the request of the Main Directorate for Combatting Organized Crime (GDBOP), the National Security Agency (DANS) and the Sofia City Prosecutor’s Office. There had been eavesdropping on phones, external surveillance and breaking into her home. Her relatives had been followed. Permissions for secret operations had been granted in violation of the law by a court not having the authority to grant them. In this case, this had been the Sofia District Court. The judge, who had granted the unlawful permissions, is its late former President, Vladimir Ivanchev. However, at the time of granting them, only the Sofia City Court had such authority with regard to magistrates.

According to Abdulova, she is an absolute record breaker as subject of illegally applied SSDs. Her lawyer Georgi Yordanov, who has filed the complaint, also represents her colleague Boyko Atanassov in an identical case of illegal wiretapping. He commented that the disciplinary sanction against Abdulova aims to force her to withdraw her complaint or to leave the investigation services and the justice system.

Special squad under control

In an interview with Bivol, Radiana Abdulova revealed the mechanisms of assigning and controlling the special squads of investigators under Tsatsarov. According to her, these investigators are excellent and honest professionals, specially selected to meticulously lead emblematic cases against politicians and gather sound and sufficient evidence. At the same time, these investigators are kept under control with illegal SSDs, while the Ministry of the Interior (MoI) and DANS obtain information that should be classified.

In every operation, we realize that we have been used in someone’s interest… We were like a criminal brigade with a very detailed profile. These must be honest people, incorruptible, competent, who cannot be influenced,” Abdulova said in front of Bivol’s camera.

Thus, she confirmed the information about the “special squad” to investigate politically sensitive cases, which was revealed years ago by rebel investigator Boyko Atanassov. He was the first one to break the Omerta (code of silence) and told of an attempt to be “recruited” for such a squad. The investigator reported to the case to Tsatsarov, but he did nothing. Once Atanassov refused, the pressure against him started.

Abdulova said that from 2010 until three years ago she dealt mainly with cases against MoI officials, the Customs Agency, against ministers and even the notorious in Bulgaria case of allegedly forged election ballots that turned out to be fake news. The cases had been mostly cases of corruption.

The interest in me is not because I pose a threat to national security or because I engage in criminal activity, but because I have information that is an expensive commodity and can be used for blackmail, pressure or even the destruction of a certain person,” she said.

The investigator suspects she had been spied on in order to have clarity about the full amount of information available to her, adding that there are plenty of potential buyers of this information. As a second reason, she points out the need to collect data that can be used to pressure her and remove her from certain pre-trial proceedings where she would be problematic. Abdulova further said she had long wanted to file a complaint for the illegal application of SSDs in relation to her, but she had been deterred because of the harassment of her children and parents.

Boyko Atanassov added that until now the saga of the illegal wiretapping of magistrates had been treated as a “private case”, but now, after the complaint by his colleague Abdulova, the curtain will be lifted and many secrets will be revealed.

Illegal SSDs as a system for management and control

Atanassov points out that Kalin Georgiev, former Chief Secretary of MoI, had signed the request for the use of the SSDs. He stresses that Georgiev is “a close friend of Prime Minister Boyko Borisov”. Georgiev is currently Director of Security at the Bulgarian-American Credit Bank, which is managed by Tsvetelina Borislavova, Borisov’s former live-in girlfriend. According to leaked to WikiLeaks classified US diplomatic cables, “Borisov is alleged to have used his former position as head of Bulgarian law enforcement to arrange cover for criminal deals, and his common-law wife, Tsvetelina Borislavova, manages a large Bulgarian bank that has been accused of laundering money for organized criminal groups, as well as for Borisov’s own illegal transactions”.

Veselin Vuchkov, as Deputy Minister of MoI, had also signed the request for the use of SSDs against Atanassov, Abdulova and several others.

Boyko Atanassov added that a number of court trials against people involved in economic crimes had been used to “redirect” financial resources to the coffers of ruling political parties. He pointed out that most of the cases the “special squad” had worked on had reached a dead end.

One such significant investigation had been the so-called “The Untouchables 1”, where evidence of tax offenses for billions had been collected. Subsequently, this evidence had been “dumped in the garbage”. In this case, following a plea agreement with the Prosecutor’s Office, a former partner of the former Chief Prosecutor and current President of the Constitutional Court, Boris Velchev, received a suspended sentence.

Atanassov is optimistic about the outcome of the lawsuits for the illegal use of SSDs against him and his colleague. A third person, a MoI employee, has already successfully sued the prosecution for illegal wiretapping and eavesdropping and there is a court rule in force in a case similar to theirs.


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