Pressure has been exerted on an investigator to work on “contract” probes. This is the story Boyko Atanasov tells in the third part of Bivol’s interview.
Following the publication of the first two parts of this interview (see here and here), someone in the Sofia Investigation Services (SIS) hurriedly started to destroy documents. This is reminiscent of “sweeping away evidence” in the most insolent way.
Prosecutor General Sotir Tsatsarov, on his part, asked the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) to probe Atanasov’s claims of the existence of a SWAT in SIS. Now this same SJS, which in recent months manifested itself as a “function” of Tsatsarov, and shoved “Yaneva Gate” under the rug, must verify allegations that the Prosecutor General has committed a crime.
The pressure on Atanasov started when he refused to head the sector, which at the time was tasked with the investigation of “former rulers” from the center-right party Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria (GERB). The investigator alerted Tsatsarov about the pressure in a report, but the latter failed to act. This interview contains information about several crimes including racketeering of a magistrate by a magistrate to “finish” politicians.
At one point, Boyko Atanasov, himself, became subject of an investigation. Pre-trial proceedings were launched and he had to be detained. Special Surveillance Devices (SSDs) have also been used against the investigator, Bivol learned from a second independent source. Details about the planned “finishing” of Atanasov, under the watch of former Sofia City Prosecutor, Nikolay Kokinov, can be found in the sequel below.
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Boyko Atanasov: I applied for several jobs, leadership posts – in the Sofia District and the Sofia City Prosecutor’s Office. I applied for a judge position, once. But they sent me to a different place, not the one I applied for. I applied for Sofia, Dupnitsa, Radomir and Svoge, they sent me, the SSC, they then, in 2008, sent me to Dulovo (the other side of the country – editor’s note). So they decided. They decided that I had applied, and I did not.
Bivol: Well, isn’t this a violation of the Judiciary Act?
Boyko Atanasov: Well, it is a violation of logic too. It is a violation of everything normal. Most likely there is nothing normal to tell a person without him wanting something: No, you wanted this, you have to go. Once you said you would like to become a judge, we will send you anywhere we want.
Bivol: Well, what is the way out of the situation that currently exists in the prosecution?
Boyko Atanasov: Given the personnel policy of the prosecution since 2006, I do not see how things can be fixed in the short term. The only suitable option, which was pointed out by Monica Macovei as well, who came here to tell us how we can stand on our feet and have a civilized state and normal judicial system, is to borrow their model that is working. Something which the Prosecutor General and the whole prosecution resist very strongly. Because it could mean only one thing to him. Currently all power is concentrated in him. With regard to corruption, political and economic, in terms of crimes committed by magistrates, all the power is concentrated in him. He cannot cope with this job, with this function.
When Petyo Petrov became Chief of the Investigation Department, he called me. I have not told that to many people, I’ll say it to you … He called me and told me that the leadership of the prosecution trusted me. No one from the prosecution leadership had phoned me. He told me that there will be cases against people from the former government. They were not former then. It was in late March or mid-March 2013 and that he wanted from me to create a sector that can investigate the ruling GERB. That thing that he told me that day … I described hour by hour, minute by minute in a letter to the Prosecutor General, personally to his office. Then I had to write explanations why I wrote it. The confidence I had in the Prosecutor General that he was doing his job became exhausted at that moment. I saw that the law is consumed for political purposes. I was called by then-Sofia City Prosecutor Kokinov and I was told that there is a case against me and if I keep refusing, anything can happen to me. He told me that they had prevented my arrest for now, but I should expect searches and raids in my home and in my office. This information is kept in the Sofia City Prosecutor’s Office. It is also contained in the report, which was prepared later, when I applied for City Prosecutor after Kokinov’s removal. So the prosecution at any time, I am talking about Sofia City and Prosecutor General’s Office, may create conditions to discredit all those who do not tend to think like the leadership.
Bivol: Currently, how many probes are there against you?
Boyko Atanasov: Currently there is only one, only one probe; I was notified about it on January 11. An order for disciplinary proceedings, launched by Nikolay Russinov, who, as far as I remember, was for ten years District Governor, Deputy District Governor of Pleven. Now he is the Deputy Sofia City Prosecutor. I wish him well. He launched disciplinary proceedings against me on grounds that I have not done my job in some pre-trial proceedings that have never been assigned to me. The file is with another colleague – Krasimir Alexiev, the one who is investigating Peevski’s “murder”. Despite the fact that the disciplinary proceedings are against me, I have no access to the file. I have also logged a withdrawal from cases twice with the motive that it is impossible for me to work with the supervising prosecutor. Neither the Appellate Prosecutor’s Office nor the Deputy Prosecutor General Borislav Sarafov have deigned to replay. That’s their business. This is how they understand the law.
Bivol: What is your forecast for your career in the short term from now on?
Boyko Atanasov: If someone wants warranties, they must go to the appliance store and buy something. There they give you one- or two-year warranty. Other than that, nobody can give warranty to anyone that they have a future or do not have a future. We saw what happened to Kokinov, Roman Vasilev, not to that extent, but it is nevertheless indicative, to other people as well. I think some people need to realize that they are not the only ones under the sun; I am talking about the Prosecutor General and the leadership of the prosecution and that their power is not given to them by God. That power was given to them by law. If the law is violated, the man should just get another job. I wish it to them.
(To be continued)
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