Bivol publishes the written right of reply of Dr. Trentchev regarding the article “Swiss Bank Accounts of Leader and Secretary of Bulgarian Trade Union”. The trade union leader answered most questions on the phone earlier, but documents are attached to the written reply and we are also publishing them. They show that the donation contracts that Bivol published and information that Maria Trencheva’s education in the United States was paid by an offshore company are confirmed. Dr. Trentchev claims that the money was received personally from Dimitar Gerassimov. He denies that he owns shares in the offshore company Pezibelix, but insists that he cannot disclose details because of the secrecy of the investigation in the case.
DEAR MR TCHOBANOV,
Regarding your email, and as result of the phone call with you, after the completed check in the matter, I can say the following:
In 2002 “Podkrepa” (the trade union Confederation of Labor “Support” – editor’s note) received three donations as follows – 50,000 levs on March 5, 2002, 20,000 levs on June 20, 2002, and lastly 20,000 levs on October 2, 2002. They were entered in the books of the Confederation, for which please find attached the report of the chief accountant, accompanied by the corresponding cash revenue orders and contracts for donation. If you wish, you or your representative may come and see the originals, which are stored in our archives. The same funds were used to cover the costs for the Fifth Congress of the Confederation in 2000 that were unsettled by the former treasurer of the Confederation Mr Neychev for which we were not informed and learned only in 2002. And the Sixth Congress of the Confederation was coming in 2003. The donations were made personally by Mr Gerassimov on his own initiative to pay our obligations to the National Palace of Culture. We are sending to you all these documents in Annex № 1.
Regarding your question whether Mr Gerasimov has paid for the education of my daughter Maria in the United States, where she resides since 1997, I can say the following: I have documents that Mr. Gerassimov has transferred in 2005 the amount of 21,000.83 US dollars and on August 16, 2006, two amounts as follows – first 13,000.57 US dollars and the last one of 12,559 US dollars. These amounts were transferred on the insistence of Mr. Gerassimov with the provision that they be returned when we have the opportunity. The amounts were repaid to the penny, and he has no claims to our family, while a contract between Mr Gerassimov and me or a contract between Mr Gerassimov and my daughter has never been signed.
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Mr. Gerasimov and I were good acquaintances. He wanted to be useful to the Confederation on his own initiative, but has never been an employee of “Support”. We went hunting together; I attended the christening of his son; we had lunch and dinner many times. Over time, however, people started turning to us with information that Mr. Gerassimov was acting on behalf of the organization, which is not right, because he was not our employee, nor had authorization for this. To our repeated questions why he acted in this manner, his invariable answer was that this was not true and someone wanted to spoil our relations. Since information about abuses of the name of the Confederation continued, I was forced to address the Chief Prosecutor of the Republic of Bulgaria, at the time Mr Boris Velchev, on March 9, 2011 and ask him to intervene to stop this abuse. I enclose a copy of the letter to the Chief Prosecutor. (Annex № 2) If you wish, you can see the original, which is kept in the archives of the organization.
The only company where I have ever been a shareholder with 50% was registered in 2014 in Bulgaria and is called Plasma Water Technology Corp., together with engineer Borislav Borissov, who is the holder of the other 50%. This company was registered in order for our invention – a method for obtaining plasma from water, which was presented before the Bulgarian scientific community and the media in 2013 – to have legal representation. There are ongoing patent procedures in India, South Korea, Russia, the European Union and the patent in China is already a fact. At present, the authorized capital of the company has not been paid in full, due to lack of opportunities, but will be deposited within two years of the establishment. The colleagues are fully informed about the creation of this company.
The documents that you published have been circulating among the public since last year. We gave explanations about the same documents before the Sofia investigation services and our desire was to take a public position on them, at least before a leadership forum of our organization. Due to the fact that we were asked by investigators not to disclose information, we asked the prosecution in a letter from November 3, 2014, whether we can offer public explanations given the anonymous distribution of these materials. On November 11, 2014, the prosecution replied that it was not giving us permission to disclose these materials, which is why we have not taken further steps. If you wish, you can see the originals of our letter to the prosecution and its response, which are kept in the archives of the Confederation.
Regarding the questions you are asking in the second email and which concern Mr Varbanov, unfortunately I cannot take a position. The same is being treated in the Military Medical Academy in Sofia for nearly a month and is facing a serious urological surgery. I am convinced that once his health improves, he will fully answer all the questions. As far as I am informed, however, Mr. Varbanov never borrowed money from Mr. Dimitar Gerassimov.
Dr. Konstantin TRENCHEV
ANNEX №1 and №2
The right of reply raises other questions that Bivol addressed to the press office of the union by email.
Mr Dimitar Gerassimov was appointed Chairman of the Board of “Yuri Gagarin BT” Plovdiv in 2002 and Member of the Board of Maritsa Iztok Mines in 2003 where he remained until 2008.
We learn from media reports that he was appointed in Maritsa Iztok Mines as a “representative of the trade union”.
– Which unions were represented by Mr Gerasimov in this position in the state enterprise? Did he represent “Support”?
– Is there a connection between the appointment of Mr Gerasimov as “representative of the trade union” and his personal friendly relations with Dr. Tenchev?
– If Mr. Gerasimov represented “Support” in public office, could there be a conflict of interest in the Union accepting donations, and Mr Trentchev personally a sponsorship from this person?
– The donations, for which Dr Trentchev insists that they were personally given by Mr. Gerasimov, actually came from various offshore companies. Such is the case with the sponsorship of Maria Trencheva’s education. Dr. Trentchev allegedly repaid the money personally to Gerassimov, not to his offshore companies. Isn’t that a form of tax evasion or even worse, laundering money obtained illegally?
The answer of Dr. Trentchev came on March 6, 2015 and we publish it without any editorial changes.
Regarding your questions, I answer the following:
The Confederation and I have no involvement whatsoever in the appointment of Mr Dimitar Gerassimov on the Board of directors of “Yuri Gagarin” BT in 2002 and on the Board of Directors of Maritsa Iztok in 2003, as these decisions are made by the relevant ministry – principal of these enterprises. There is no position “representative of trade union” in the Board of Directors. There are neither oral nor written proposals from our side for Mr. Gerassimov to be appointed to that post. You should ask the respective ministry why Mr. Gerassimov has been appointed. The fact that I had friendly relations with Mr Gerassimov did not and in any case commit me to contribute to his professional career. Once again, I note that Mr. Gerassimov was never our staff and our representative in any public or private institutions. As for the donations, they are accounted for; they were made personally by Mr Gerassimov through economic entities that he personally represented. As for the so-called by you sponsorship for the education of my daughter Maria, I emphasize again that this has been a personal initiative of Mr Gerassimov and the funds he sent me for the education have been repaid in several years mostly by my wife who has a good income in the United States. ”
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